SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ________ to ________
Commission file number 001-39395
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
|(Primary standard industrial classification code number)|
18455 S. Figueroa Street
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
|Redeemable warrants, exercisable for shares of Class A common stock at an exercise price of $11.50 per share||FFIEW||The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC|
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o No x
Based on the closing price as reported on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates on June 30, 2021 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $362.8 million. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each stockholder of more than 10% of any class of voting equity securities of the registrant have been excluded from this calculation because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
As of May 13, 2022, there were 238,275,864 shares of Class A common stock, $0.0001 par value, and 64,000,588 shares of Class B common stock, $0.0001 par value, issued and outstanding.
Table of Contents
Item 1. Business.
Unless the context indicates otherwise, references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “FF” refer to Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. (f/k/a Property Solutions Acquisition Corp.), a holding company incorporated in the State of Delaware, and not to its subsidiaries, and references herein to the “Company,” “we,” “us,” “our” and similar terms refer to FF and its consolidated subsidiaries. We refer to our primary operating subsidiary in the U.S., Faraday&Future Inc., as “FF U.S.” We refer to all our subsidiaries organized in China and in Hong Kong collectively as the “PRC Subsidiaries,” a complete list of which is set forth in Exhibit 21.1 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our only operating subsidiaries in China and in Hong Kong are FF Automotive (China) Co. Ltd., Ruiyu Automotive (Beijing) Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Faran Automotive Technology Co., Ltd., each of which was organized in the PRC. The discussion of FF’s business and the electric vehicle industry below is qualified by, and should be read in conjunction with, the discussion of the risks related to FF’s business and industry detailed in Item 1A in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
FF is a California-based global shared intelligent mobility ecosystem company with a vision to disrupt the automotive industry.
With headquarters in Los Angeles, California, FF designs and engineers next-generation intelligent, connected, electric vehicles. FF intends to start manufacturing vehicles at its production facility in Hanford, California, with additional future production capacity needs addressed through a contract manufacturing partner in South Korea. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer in South Korea. FF has additional engineering, sales, and operational capabilities in China and plans to develop its manufacturing capability in China through a joint venture or other arrangements.
Since its founding, FF has created major innovations in technology and products, and a user centered business model. we believe these innovations will enable FF to set new standards in luxury and performance that will enhance quality of life and redefine the future of intelligent mobility.
FF’s principal executive office is located at 18455 S. Figueroa Street, Gardena, CA 90248 (telephone number (310) 415-4807). The Company's website is located at www.ff.com and its investor relations website is located at investors.ff.com. The information contained on or connected to FF’s websites is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K and should not be considered part of this or any other report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). FF’s filings with the SEC, including annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports, are accessible without charge on FF’s investor relations website, as soon as reasonably practicable, after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Such filings are also available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.
FF’s technology innovations include its proprietary Variable Platform Architecture (“VPA”), propulsion system, and Internet, Autonomous Driving, and Intelligence (“I.A.I.”) system.
The VPA is a modular skateboard-like platform which can be sized to accommodate various motor and powertrain configurations, enabling fast and capital efficient product development for both the passenger and commercial vehicle segments. FF’s propulsion system includes industry-leading inverter design, and a propulsion system that provides a leading competitive edge in electric drivetrain performance. FF’s advanced I.A.I. technology offers high-performance computing, high speed internet connectivity, Over-the-air (“OTA”) updates, an open ecosystem for third party application integration, and a Level 3 autonomous driving-ready system, in addition to several other proprietary innovations that enable the Company to build a highly personalized user experience.
Since inception, FF has developed a differentiated portfolio of valuable intellectual property. As of March 31, 2022, the Company has been granted more than 650 patents (with approximately a third issued in the U.S., and slightly less than two-thirds issued in China, and the remaining issued in other jurisdictions). Key patents include FF’s inverter assembly, integrated drive and motor assemblies, methods and apparatus for generating current commands for an interior permanent magnet (“IPM”) motor, and keyless vehicle entry system. These key patents will expire in 2035 and 2036.
FF’s B2C (business-to-consumer) passenger vehicle launch pipeline over the next five years includes the FF 91 series, the FF 81 series, and the FF 71 series. FF’s passenger vehicle portfolio is designed to address different passenger vehicle segments. In addition to passenger vehicles, leveraging its VPA, FF plans to launch a Smart Last Mile Delivery (“SLMD”) vehicle to address the high growth last mile delivery opportunity. FF’s presence in the last mile delivery segment will enable the Company to leverage its technology and expand its total addressable market and avenues for growth.
Each of the three passenger vehicle series is planned in two different configurations (the FF 91 will also come in a limited edition model). At the top end, the “Futurist” configurations will drive FF’s core brand values (design, superior driving experience, and personalized user experience) to the fullest. Offering multiple configurations allows FF to participate in a wide price range within each vehicle series.
FF intends to commercially launch the FF 91 series in the third quarter of 2022. Please refer to “Risk Factors — FF’s vehicles are in development and its first vehicle may not be available for sale in the third quarter of 2022, if at all” for a discussion on risks and uncertainties related to the expected launch. Toward that goal, FF has completed most of the vehicle development milestones, and recently announced the completion of its first production-intent build at the Hanford manufacturing plant. The FF 91 series is designed to compete with Maybach, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Ferrari Purosangue, Mercedes S-Class, Porsche Taycan, BMW 7-Series, etc. In addition to the FF 91 series, FF has planned the following passenger vehicles:
•FF 81 series, FF’s second passenger vehicle, is envisioned to be a premium mass market electric connected vehicle positioned to compete against Tesla Model S and Model X, Nio ES8, BMW 5-series, and similar vehicles.
•FF 71 series, FF’s mass market passenger vehicle, plans to integrate connectivity and advanced technology into a smaller vehicle size and positioned to compete against Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, BMW 3-series, and similar vehicles.
All FF passenger vehicles will share common brand DNA of:
•modern design: styling and interior materials;
•superior driving experience: leading power, performance and driving range; and
•personalized user experience: space, comfort and internet experience.
The flagship FF 91 series will define the FF brand DNA. This DNA will carry over to FF 81 and FF 71 series vehicles at lower price points. With such brand DNA, FF believes its products will be ahead of competition in their respective segments in terms of design, driving experience, interior comfort, connectivity, and user experience.
Robust Hybrid Manufacturing Strategy
To implement a capital light business model, FF has adopted a hybrid global manufacturing strategy consisting of its refurbished manufacturing facility in Hanford, California and a collaboration with Myoung Shin, a leading contract manufacturing partner in South Korea. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer agreement in South Korea. The Company is also exploring the possibility of manufacturing capacity in China through a joint venture or other arrangements.
As of the date hereof:
•FF leased a 1.1 million square foot manufacturing facility in Hanford, California with an expected production capacity of approximately 10,000 vehicles per year; and
•FF entered into a definitive contract manufacturing and supply agreement with Myoung Shin Co., Ltd. (“Myoung Shin”), a South Korea-based automotive manufacturer and parts supplier, to manufacture the Company’s second vehicle, the FF 81. The agreement has an initial term of nine years from the start of production of the FF 81, which is scheduled for 2024. Pursuant to the agreement, Myoung Shin shall maintain sufficient manufacturing capabilities and capacity to supply FF 81 vehicles to FF in accordance with the Company’s forecasts and purchase orders. FF and Myoung Shin will each manufacture and supply certain FF 81 parts that Myoung Shin will use in the manufacture and assembly of FF 81 vehicles;
FF management anticipates making its first passenger vehicles available in the U.S., followed shortly thereafter by a rollout in China. Expansion of sales to Europe is expected to begin in 2023. FF plans to utilize a direct sales model integrating online and offline sales channels to drive sales and user (including customers, drivers, passengers of FF vehicles) operations to continuously create value. FF’s offline sales are planned through FF’s self-owned stores as well as FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms. The self-owned stores are expected to help establish the FF brand, while the partner-owned stores and showrooms will enable expansion of the sales and distribution network without substantial capital investment by FF.
FF’s Competitive Strengths
FF’s products, technology, team and business model provide strong competitive differentiation:
FF’s proprietary VPA
FF’s proprietary VPA is a skateboard-like platform that incorporates the critical components of an electric vehicle, and can be sized to accommodate various motor and powertrain configurations. This flexible modular design supports a range of consumer and commercial vehicles and facilitates rapid development of multiple vehicle programs to reduce cost and time to market.
Projected product performance with industry-leading propulsion technology
FF’s propulsion system includes an industry-leading inverter design and propulsion system. FF’s proprietary FF Echelon Inverter has the technological advantage of driving a large amount of current in a small space using proprietary parallel Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (“IGBTs”), achieving low inverter losses and high efficiency. The propulsion system has high torque accuracy with fast transient response. The electric motor drive units are fully integrated with the inverter, transmission and control unit to create industry-leading volume and design efficiency. Propelled by an integrated FF designed powertrain, FF’s vehicles can achieve leading horsepower, efficiency, and acceleration performance.
Internet, Autonomous Driving, and Intelligence (“I.A.I.”) Technology
FF’s advanced I.A.I. technology offers high-performance computing, high speed internet connectivity, OTA updates, an open ecosystem for third party application integration, and a Level 3 autonomous driving-ready system, in addition to several other proprietary innovations that enable the Company to build an advanced highly personalized user experience. The FF 91 series will feature a high-performance dual systems-on-a-chip (“SoC”) computing platform for in-vehicle infotainment, a NVIDIA based autonomous driving system, and a high-speed connectivity system capable of up to three simultaneous 4G/LTE carrier connections. Together, these systems will deliver a highly intelligent voice-first user experience, and seamless cloud connectivity and a vehicle that is Level 3 highway autonomous driving ready.
FF’s I.A.I system is built on an enhanced Android Automotive code base and is upgraded with each release of Google’s platform.
All FF vehicles use FF’s proprietary FFID unique identifier to deliver personalized content, apps and experiences. FFID provides a unique Faraday Future user profile that ensures a consistent experience across the FF Ecosystem, as the user goes from one seat to another or even from one vehicle to another.
Strong intellectual property portfolio
FF has significant capabilities in the areas of vehicle engineering, vehicle design and development, as well as software, internet, and AI. The Company has additionally developed a number of proprietary processes, systems and technologies across these areas. FF’s research and development efforts have resulted in a strong intellectual property portfolio across battery, powertrain, software, user interface design and user experience design (“UI/UX”), and advanced driver-assistance systems, among other areas. FF’s proprietary inverter design provides high current and is integrated into the electric drive unit, creating a high power-to-weight ratio. The patented keyless entry technology recognizes the user from a distance, opens (not only unlocks) doors and customizes the user’s seating area using facial-recognition-prompted download of FFID. Patented autonomous driving technology can be used to find empty space in a parking lot and autonomously park using cameras, radars, LIDARs (Light Detection and Ranging), ultrasound and an inertial measurement unit (“IMU”). FF believes its strong intellectual property portfolio will allow continued differentiation from its competitors and shorten time to market for future products.
Visionary management with a strong record of success
FF is led by a visionary management team with a unique combination of automotive, communication, and internet experience. FF’s Executive Chairperson, Sue Swenson, has a long experience in public company governance, particularly in technology, media and communications companies. FF’s Global CEO, Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, is a seasoned automotive industry veteran with over 20 years of leadership experience at BMW. Dr. Breitfeld was previously in charge of several innovative vehicle projects at BMW, including the i8 Vehicle Program which gave birth to the i8 luxury plug-in hybrid model. Dr. Breitfeld also served as Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BYTON, a Chinese electric vehicle startup with operations in multiple countries. FF’s Founder and Chief Product and User Ecosystem Officer, YT Jia, focuses on product and mobility ecosystem; internet and AI; and advanced R&D technology. YT Jia founded Leshi Information Technology Co., Ltd., a video streaming website in 2004. He also founded Le Holdings Co. Ltd. (“LeEco”), an internet ecosystem and technology company with businesses including smart phones, smart TVs, smart cars, internet sports, video content, internet finance and cloud computing. FF’s other management team members have significant product, industry and leadership experience in areas such as vehicle engineering, battery, powertrain, software, internet, AI, and consumer electronics.
Speed to market with the ability to launch commercial production in the third quarter of 2022
FF has achieved several commercial milestones as it works to bring the FF 91 to the market. When FF launches the FF 91, the Company expects to be the first entrant in the ultra-luxury EV segment. Please refer to “Risk Factors — FF’s vehicles are in development and its first vehicle may not be available for sale in the third quarter of 2022, if at all” for a discussion on risks and uncertainties related to the expected launch. FF has recently completed the first of its planned production-intent vehicles at the Hanford manufacturing plant, and will produce many more in the coming months for testing, validation, and marketing purposes. As of the date hereof, only a few standard off-the-shelf components remain to be sourced.
Electric Vehicle Industry Overview and Market Opportunity
The electric vehicle industry is poised for explosive growth. Based on the Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 report, a long-term forecast published in May 2021 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (“BNEF Report”), passenger electric vehicle sales in the U.S., Europe, and China would grow to a total of approximately 14.0 million vehicles in 2025, from 3.1 million vehicles in 2020, and then continue to grow rapidly.
Driven by China’s new energy vehicle (“NEV”) credit and European CO2 regulations as well as city policies restricting new internal combustion engine (“ICE”) vehicle sales, electric vehicle sales in China and Europe are estimated to exceed 65% of all passenger electric vehicle sales by 2030, according to the BNEF Report. In addition, since many U.S. households have the infrastructure to install home charging, they are ideal adopters of electric vehicles. According to the BNEF Report, by 2040, over three-quarters of all new passenger vehicles sold will be electric, with markets in China and parts of Europe achieving even higher penetration. For commercial electric vehicles, demand for electric small vans, and trucks are expected to rise quickly, with the U. S., Europe, and China markets expanding faster than the overall market, according to the BNEF Report. In addition, the report notes that light-duty commercial vehicles will see the greatest surge in demand for electric drivetrains among all commercial vehicles. FF believes its U.S. and China dual-home market strategy, as well as its innovative DNA, strong technology portfolio, and emphasis on design, driving experience and personalized user experience will position it well in the passenger electric vehicle segments in these markets. By leveraging the scalable design and modularity of FF’s variable platform architecture, FF is well-positioned to capitalize on growing demands for light, commercial electric vehicles. Additionally, FF’s robust vehicle engineering capabilities and extensive portfolio of technologies offer significant future licensing and strategic partnership opportunities.
Key Drivers for Electric Vehicle Market Growth
Several important factors are contributing to the popularity of electric vehicles, in both the passenger electric vehicle and light-duty commercial vehicle segments. FF believes the following factors will continue to drive growth in these markets:
Increasing Environmental Awareness and Tightening Emission Regulations
Environmental concerns have resulted in tightening emission regulations globally, and there is a broad consensus that further emission reductions will require increased electrification in the automotive industry. The cost of regulatory compliance for ICE power-trains is rising sharply due to the natural limitations of traditional ICE technologies. In response, global original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) are aggressively shifting their strategies toward electric vehicles. At the same time, consumers are more concerned about the impact of goods they purchase, both on their personal health and the environment. As consumer awareness increases, zero emission transportation has become a popular and widely advocated urban lifestyle which has accelerated further development in the electric vehicle market. Consumer pressure can also be seen in the commercial
electric vehicle market. Being encouraged by their customers to reduce their carbon footprints, retailers, logistics companies, and other corporations are highly incentivized to transition their existing fleets or new vehicle purchases toward electric vehicles.
Decreasing Battery and Electric Vehicle Ownership Costs
Battery and battery-related costs generally represent the most expensive components of an electric vehicle. The falling price of lithium-ion batteries is expected to be among the most important factors affecting electric vehicle penetration in the future. Additionally, the average battery energy density is expected to increase with continuous improvements in battery chemistries, improved materials, advanced engineering, and manufacturing efficiencies. With improvements in battery technology and economies of scale, battery production costs (translated to electric vehicle ownership costs) should continue to decrease. The BNEF Report states that the average lithium-ion battery price has fallen by 89% from 2010 to 2021 to $131/kWh. They project the cost of lithium-ion batteries will fall below $100/kWh by 2024 and continue to decline as advancements in manufacturing and technology continue. According to the BNEF Report, price parity between electric vehicles and ICE is expected to be reached by the mid-2020s in most vehicle segments, subject to variation between geographies.
Strong Regulatory Push
An increasing number of countries are encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles or a shift away from fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. For example, in the U.S., both states and municipalities have begun to roll out legislation banning combustion engines, with California mandating that every new passenger car and truck sold to be zero-emission by 2035, and every new medium and heavy-duty truck sold be zero-emission by 2045. Fifteen additional U.S. states and Washington, D.C. have announced they intend to follow California’s lead in transitioning all sales of heavy-duty trucks, vans and buses to zero-emission, with potentially more to follow in coming years. In China, the focused regulatory push has been one of the strongest drivers of NEV penetration. In recent years, the Chinese government implemented a series of favorable policies encouraging the purchase of electric vehicles and construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Since 2015, the Chinese regulatory authorities have provided subsidies to purchasers of electric vehicles. Although previous purchase subsidies were reduced in China by approximately half in 2019, the Chinese government has continued to provide subsidies for charging infrastructure construction. Since 2016, the Chinese central finance department has been incentivizing certain local governments with funds and subsidies for the construction and operation of charging facilities and other relevant charging infrastructure, such as charging stations and battery swap stations. Europe, UK, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden have all announced plans to phase out combustion engines in some form or fashion by 2030. These legislative tailwinds have already begun to force some legacy OEMs toward electrification, creating a strong need for a modular, flexible, and cost-efficient electric vehicle solution, which will increase competition in the alternative energy vehicle industry.
Growth of Electric “Shared Mobility”
According to the BNEF Report, despite the significant near term impact from COVID-19, the global shared mobility fleet (i.e., ride-hailing and car-sharing) is expected to represent more than 15% of the total kilometers traveled by passenger vehicles by 2040, up from less than 5% in 2019. Bloomberg data also predicted that due to electric vehicles’ lower operating costs, they are anticipated to account for over 75% of shared mobility vehicles by 2040, representing a dramatic increase from current low single digit penetration. At the same time, as vehicle consumers move to rely upon shared mobility fleets, and view ride-hailing and car-sharing as a service, such trends may partially offset passenger vehicle demand growth.
Corporate History and Milestones
FF U.S., the Company’s primary U.S. operating subsidiary, was incorporated and founded in the State of California in May 2014. In July 2014, LeSee Automotive (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (“LeSee Beijing”), which was previously the Company’s primary Chinese operating entity, was formed in China.
To facilitate global investment of FF’s business and operations in different jurisdictions, FF established a Cayman Islands holding company structure for the entities within the group. As part of these efforts, Smart Technology Holdings Ltd. (formerly known as FF Global Holdings Ltd.) was incorporated on May 23, 2014 in the Cayman Islands, which directly or indirectly owned and/or controlled 100% of the shareholding of all operating subsidiaries in the group. In March 2017, FF established FF Automotive (China) Co., Ltd., as a Chinese wholly-foreign-owned entity (“WFOE”). As part of a broader corporate reorganization, and to facilitate third-party investment, FF incorporated its top-level holding company, FF Intelligent Mobility Global Holdings Ltd. (formerly known as Smart King Ltd.), in the Cayman Islands in November 2017, as the parent company of Smart Technology Holdings Ltd. To enable effective control over FF’s Chinese operating entity and its subsidiaries without direct equity ownership, in November 2017, the WFOE entered into a series of contractual arrangements (“VIE contractual arrangements”) with LeSee Beijing and LeSee Zhile Technology Co., Ltd., which previously held 100% of LeSee
Beijing. The VIE contractual arrangement enabled FF to exercise effective control over LeSee Beijing and its subsidiaries, to receive substantially all of the economic benefits of such entities, and to have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in LeSee Beijing. The VIE contractual arrangements were adjusted in the past three years and were terminated on August 5, 2020. LeSee Beijing is currently owned 99% by the WFOE.
The organizational chart below shows FF’s operating subsidiaries2 as of the date hereof:
2Excludes subsidiaries with immaterial operations. FF Hong Kong Holding Limited is a holding company subsidiary organized in Hong Kong. As of the date of hereof, LeSEE Automotive (Beijing) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary organized in China, has immaterial operations.
Significant milestones in FF’s historical development and commercialization of FF’s electric vehicles include the following:
•In 2015, FF completed its first test mule car, and a fully developed electric vehicle Beta prototype was completed in August 2016.
•In January 2016, FF debuted the FF Zero 1 at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (“CES”) and obtained a U.S. patent for FF’s proprietary power inverter, the “FF Echelon Inverter.” In November 2016, FF obtained an autonomous vehicle testing permit issued by the State of California, which allowed FF to test self-driving vehicles on public roads with the presence of a safety driver.
•In January 2017, FF revealed FF 91, its luxury electric crossover vehicle, at CES 2017. FF 91’s beta prototype set the fastest production-electric vehicle record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2017, with a time of 11 minutes and 25.083 seconds.
•In November 2017, FF entered into agreements with its Series A investor in connection with its Series A financing and received gross proceeds of $800.0 million through June 2018.
•In August 2018, FF completed its first pre-production build of FF 91 in its Hanford, California manufacturing facility. FF also began designing the FF 81 project in January 2018.
•In September 2020, FF entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with a large city in China where FF plans to build its China headquarters and research and development center in China. Pursuant to the non-binding proposal, FF intends to form a joint venture in the city and expects that the city will provide certain support to the joint venture.
•In January 2021, Legacy FF, FF Automotive (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd. and FF Hong Kong Holding Limited. entered into a cooperation framework agreement with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. pursuant to which Geely Holding agreed to explore the possibility of joint investment in the technology licensing, contract manufacturing and joint venture with FF and the city, as well as to pursue the possibility of further business cooperation with the joint venture. The joint venture remains subject to agreement by the parties on a joint venture agreement and the closing of the Private Placement. FF believes the strategic partnership among the city, Geely Holding and FF, if successfully entered into, will benefit the implementation of FF’s dual-home market strategy in China.
•In January 2021, FF announced that it entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination with PSAC, with the combined company to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol “FFIE”.
•In July 2021, FF announced that it completed its previously announced merger with PSAC, which resulted in the combined company being renamed Faraday Future Intelligent Electric. The common stock and warrants of the Company began trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market on July 22, 2021 as “FFIE” and “FFIEW”, respectively.
•In September 2021, FF completed the installation of pilot equipment in the pre-production build area of its Hanford, California facility.
•In October 2021, FF received its final Certificate of Occupancy (“CO”) for a dedicated area for pre-production manufacturing at the facility in Hanford, California. The CO allowed FF to begin crucial construction activities, including the building of additional pre-production vehicles at the facility.
•In December 2021, FF started foundation construction for all remaining production areas in the Hanford facility, including body, propulsion, warehouse and vehicle assembly. Interior foundation work in the production area is now well advanced, major mechanical system, including electrical and plumbing, are being installed now.
•In February 2022, FF announced that Myoung Shin Co., Ltd., an automotive manufacturer headquartered in South Korea, has been contracted to manufacture FF’s second vehicle, the FF 81, with SOP scheduled for 2024.
•In February 2022, FF unveiled the first production-intent FF 91 EV manufactured at its Hanford, California plant.
•In May 2022, FF marked Production Milestone #5 at its Hanford, California manufacturing facility, with the start of installation of all mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to support equipment installation.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the Company’s mission, vision and values, certain current and former executives of FF established a partnership program (the “Partnership Program”) through FF Global Partners LLC (“FF Global”) in July 2019. FF Global controls Pacific Technology Holding LLC, which indirectly holds approximately 36.2% of the voting power of FF’s share capital on a fully-diluted basis as of the date hereof. The members and managers of FF Global are treated as “partners” or “preparatory partners” from FF Global’s internal governance perspective. FF Global is managed by its board of managers (“FF Global Board”), which currently consists of eight managers — YT Jia, Matthias Aydt, Jiawei Wang, Tin Mok, Prashant Gulati, Chaoying Deng, Philip Bethell and Dr. Carsten Breitfeld. A majority of the managers of FF Global (excluding Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, who does not yet have voting rights because he has not met the tenure eligibility requirement, and once he satisfies the tenure requirement in September 2022, subject to election by the partners of FF Global, he might become a voting manager) present at a meeting of the FF Global Board where there is a quorum is required to approve any material actions of FF Global (“Reserved Matters”), including actions relating to the voting and disposition of shares of FFIE held by FF Top Holding LLC (f/k/a FF Top Holding Ltd.) (“FF Top”) and indirectly owned by FF Global. In the event of a tie at any meeting of the FF Global Board, the manager designated by Chaoying Deng as the managing partner has a casting vote. Except for the Reserved Matters, management of FF Global has been delegated to the managing partner for efficient management. Based on our investigation, we believe that YT Jia has significant influence over and may control the outcome of any actions taken by the FF Global Board through a series of familial and personal relationships that he has with the other managers on the FF Global Board. The committee has adopted policies to address the nomination and election of partners and managers of FF Global. These policies specify certain minimum requirements to be eligible for such positions, including minimum tenure as an employee of FF, business-related performance and behavior-related performance in connection with corporate cultural values during the tenure as an employee of FF, minimum tenure as a partner or preparatory partner, and payment of a portion of the capital contributions to FF Global. FF Global elects those members of FF management and FF employees who share the same mission and vision, demonstrate partnership spirit, and have made significant contributions to become partners or preparatory partners of FF Global, and issues corresponding units to them. The units may be redeemed by FF Global if the FF Global Board determines in its sole discretion that the holder has acted in a manner that is detrimental to FF Global, FF or any of their affiliates, breached the operating agreement of FF Global or any other agreement between the holder and FF Global or ceased to provide services to FF Global, FF or their affiliates with or without cause. The managers, except for the managing partner, are nominated by the partners of FF Global from the existing partners that satisfy certain qualifications and elected by all partners by plurality voting according to the policy and procedures adopted by the committee. Each partner has one vote in the process and the preparatory partners have no voting rights but each can attend the meetings of the partners. In addition, the creditors’ trust from YT Jia’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy has a substantial preferred economic interest in Pacific Technology Holding LLC and has observatory rights on the FF Global Board.
The Partnership Program is a measure to attract and retain talent of FF and FF Global. The program aims to embody the vision of a large group of management team and employees and foster the spirit of partnership. The peer nature of the partnership enables the Company’s executives and some key employees to work together without bureaucracy. FF Global has 21 partners (one of them is not a member) and 6 preparatory partners as of the date hereof. The Partnership Program is dynamic and enables admission of new partners and preparatory partners. The number of partners and preparatory partners may also change due to the removal or departure of partners and preparatory partners.
Variable Platform Architecture
FF believes one of its core technology competencies is its proprietary Variable Platform Architecture (“VPA”). FF’s VPA is a flexible and adaptable skateboard-like platform featuring a monocoque vehicle structure with integrated chassis and body. The platform directly houses the critical components of an electric vehicle, including all-wheel steering, suspension system, brakes, wheels, electric propulsion system, electronic control units and high voltage battery, among others. Each of these component systems has been engineered in-house or in collaboration with suppliers and has been integrated into the FF vehicles with a view to strive for optimizing performance, efficient packaging, and functional integration.
As an integrated structure, the skateboard-like platform can be shortened or lengthened to allow various wheelbases and battery pack sizes along with other options to fit into the platform. It is designed to accommodate up to three motors and support single or dual rear motors and a single front motor. The VPA can be configured in front-wheel-drive (“FWD”), rear-wheel-drive (“RWD”) or all-wheel-drive (“AWD”) configurations. The platform enables scalable vehicle design and improves manufacturing flexibility as well as capital efficiency and allows continuous improvement across product generations. It is also designed to reduce development time for future models leveraging the platform, as most of research and development and a significant portion of the crash structure is integrated into the platform and enables 5 star and equivalent safety ratings. The modular design of the VPA is adaptable to support a wide range of FF vehicles for both consumer and commercial vehicle markets.
FF has designed an integrated set of powertrain systems ideally suited for FF’s modular VPA. FF believes its proprietary and patented designed electric powertrain provides a leading competitive edge in horsepower, efficiency, and acceleration performance.
FF Echelon Inverter
The inverter in FF’s electric vehicle powertrain governs the flow of high-voltage electrical current throughout the vehicle and serves to power the electric motor, generating torque while driving and delivering energy into the battery pack while braking. The inverter converts direct current from the battery pack into alternating current to drive the permanent magnet motors and provides “regenerative braking” functionality, which captures energy from braking to charge the battery pack. The primary technological advantages of FF’s designs include the ability to drive large amounts of current in a small, physical package with high efficiency and low cost (low inverter losses to provide 98% of inverter efficiency) utilizing patented parallel IGBT technology and can achieve high torque accuracy with fast transient response. The inverter can achieve high reliability due to tab bonds in the high current path. The monitoring system is integrated into the inverter to provide enhanced safety. The patented FF Echelon Inverter is designed to have high power in a compact light weight package with high reliability and durability and can support multiple motor configurations.
Integrated Electric Motor Drive Units
FF has internally designed its electric motor drive units (including gearbox). The electric drive units are fully integrated with the inverter, transmission, and control unit to create a compact and efficient design. The FF designed drive units have low noise and vibration that can greatly improve driving experience. Depending on the power requirements of each model, the motors can be utilized individually or in two or three motor configurations. The combination of high-power and high-torque is expected to provide users with powerful driving force. The FF 91 Futurist, equipped with three integrated electric drive units (each is designed to deliver up to 350 horsepower), is expected to deliver 1,050 horsepower and 12,510 Newton meters (“Nm”) of torque. FF believes its electric drive unit design is ahead of most of its competitors in terms of performance because of its proprietary, advanced packaging, stator-rotor design, and unique inverter layout.
Internet, Autonomous Driving, and Intelligence (“I.A.I.”)
FF utilizes an industry-leading automotive grade dual-chip computing system running the Android Automotive operating system. FF’s I.A.I system is built on an enhanced Android Automotive code base and is upgraded with each release of Google’s platform. FF’s vehicles are designed with software OTA capabilities, which allow software and applications in the vehicle to be updated and upgraded wirelessly to deliver continuous enhancements. The vehicle will be connected to FF’s information cloud at all times. When there is a firmware or software update available, FF’s cloud will push an update message to the vehicle to notify the driver to schedule an update. Upgrades will be wirelessly downloaded to the vehicle, installed, and launched,
including updates for firmware, operating systems, middleware, and applications. FF’s patented Future OS operating system allows multiple users to login through FF 91, preparing user’s preferences per their cloud based FFID profiles.
For autonomous driving, FF’s Level 3 autonomous driving-ready system (“ADAS”) will deliver multiple ADAS features through a combination of FF’s own as well as industry partners’ applications. FF plans to devote resources to autonomous driving research and development and plans to work with partners to deliver full autonomous-driving capabilities in highway and urban driving, as well as parking, across its vehicle lines in the future.
FF’s Artificial Intelligence system can actively learn preferences, habits, entertainment, and navigation routines of a user, and associates them with the user’s unique FFID (Faraday Future proprietary user ID). FFID provides a unique Faraday Future user profile that ensures a consistent experience across the FF Ecosystem, as the user goes from one seat to another or even from one vehicle to another. The seamless design and interface of the in-vehicle infotainment system planned in FF vehicles will offer multiple human-machine interface (“HMI”) options and facilitate a personalized user experience for each seat in the vehicle. The enhanced user experience platform powered by Android enables seamless access to third party applications. FF’s patented Intelligent Aggregation Engine can pull content from multiple video applications and displays content in a single area, removing the need to access multiple applications. The Intelligent Recommendation Engine that may be integrated in certain FF series learns each passenger or driver’s digital media preferences across multiple video applications and provide personalized recommendations. The User Recognition function is embedded in each seat through facial or voice recognition, to deliver a suite of personalized content and preferences.
Electrical/ Electronic (“E/E”) Architecture
FF plans to design the first generation of FF vehicle series (FF 91 and FF 81) to adopt a domain-centralized E/E architecture, which enables architecture flexibility and maximizes performance efficiency while meaningfully reducing the overall system complexity and weight. The domain-centralized E/E architecture will consolidate the domain functions across five core high-performance domain control units (“DCU”) that manage, compute, and process controls for propulsion, chassis, self-driving, body, and IoV (Internet over Vehicle – connected infotainment system). The E/E architecture of FF’s variable platform architecture is designed with the capacity to support the power and communication requirements necessary for seamless integration with advanced autonomous systems as they evolve. All of FF’s DCUs will support OTA updates and data collection.
FF has developed an extensive portfolio of proprietary technologies that will be embedded and integrated in FF vehicles. FF’s B2C passenger vehicle launch pipeline over the next five years includes FF 91 series, FF 81 series and FF 71 series. In addition to passenger vehicles, leveraging its VPA, FF plans to launch a Smart Last Mile Delivery (“SLMD”) vehicle to address the high growth last mile delivery opportunity.
Each of the three passenger vehicle series is planned in two different configurations. All passenger vehicles will share common brand DNA of:
•modern design: styling and interior materials;
•superior driving experience: leading power, performance, and driving range; and
•personalized user experience: space, comfort, and internet experience.
The flagship FF 91 series will define the FF brand DNA. This DNA will carry over to FF 81 and FF 71 series. At the top end, the Futurist configurations of each of these series will be designed to push the core brand values to the maximum. With this brand DNA, FF believes its products will be ahead of competition in their respective segments in terms of design, driving experience, interior comfort, connectivity, and user experience.
With a wheelbase of 3,200 mm (126 inches), FF 91, FF’s flagship vehicle, is designed to be a high-performance luxury electric vehicle in the E-segment/Executive/Full-Size or F-segment/Full-size luxury vehicle segment. FF has built numerous prototypes and pre-production assets for validation and testing, and recently completed its first production-intent build at its Hanford, California manufacturing plant. FF aims to launch FF 91 in the third quarter of 2022. Please refer to “Risk Factors — FF’s vehicles are in development and its first vehicle may not be available for sale in the third quarter of 2022, if at all” for a discussion on risks and uncertainties related to the expected launch.
FF believes that FF 91 represents a new “species” of electric mobility that combines high performance, precise handling, the comfort of a luxury passenger vehicle, and an intelligent, connected user interface which provides a unique mobility experience to both driver and passenger. It leverages FF’s proprietary VPA, which is a skateboard-like platform structure designed and engineered in-house. This integrated platform provides measurable improvements in overall vehicle structural performance, safety, and handling. FF 91 features a multi-motor configuration and an all-wheel drive system. With three electric motors (one in the front and two in the rear), the top configuration (FF 91 Futurist) is designed to produce 1,050 horsepower and 12,510 Nm of torque to all four wheels. This enables FF 91 Futurist to have torque vectoring in the rear for enhanced vehicle dynamics and stability. Its all-wheel drive system offers greater traction control as well as precise power distribution. This technology delivers superior acceleration and safety.
The variable platform architecture for FF 91 series houses floor-mounted batteries, as well as FF’s proprietary inverter, the FF Echelon Inverter, and integrated electric motor drive units. FF 91 is expected to charge at up to a 200kW rate. FF plans to provide charging solutions in FF’s self-owned stores and FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms.
The FF 91 aims to deliver a first-class user experience that emphasizes personalization and comfort for all users of the vehicle, including the driver and passengers. In terms of driver comfort, there are six driver-specific screens including an ultra-large heads-up display and slim instrument cluster. The center information display supports on-screen gesturing with swipe of fingers. The reconfigurable 3D touch steering wheel can allow further user configurability. The FF 91 is a connected device that has a voice-first user interface as well as an open ecosystem for third-party applications and offers an immersive audio, video, and media experience. There are over 100 inches of high-resolution viewing area across 11 displays embedded in the vehicle. These include industry’s first 17-inch front passenger screen and industry-leading 27-inch rear passenger display, allowing passengers to stream their favorite movies, TV shows and live sports while the FF 91 is in motion without driver distraction. The voice-first foundation enables multiple natural commands at once, facilitating the areas of comfort (including air conditioning, seat positions, and doors), productivity (including text, email, and phone calls), entertainment (including media playlists and content search) and destination reaching (including refined search and navigation). The connectivity is powered by “Super Mobile AP”, which consists of up to three modems to realize aggregated high internet speed and great coverage by multi-carriers for high-throughput and continuous coverage. The Artificial Intelligence system and use of FFID (automatically loaded through facial recognition in each seat) carry the personalized user experience from seat-to-seat and vehicle-to-vehicle. The front and rear passengers will have individual sound zones, which allow passengers in the front and passengers in the rear to listen to their separate audio content with minimal sound interference. The luxury interior design of the FF 91 Futurist also features “zero gravity” seats in the rear row (with industry leading 48.9 inches rear leg room and 60-degree recline). The vehicle also offers a spa mode with personalized seat position, ventilation, massage settings, light animations, and ambient sound.
For autonomous driving, FF 91 will have up to 12 cameras, up to 5 radar sensors, LIDAR, and 12 ultrasound sensors with full 360-degree sensor coverage to allow the FF 91 to steer autonomously once the autonomous driving software solution is validated and released. FF anticipates that its autonomous driving system will deliver several highway autonomy and parking features, and through continuous learning over time, will enable Autonomous Valet Parking (“AVP”) — where the vehicle can
autonomously navigate a parking lot, find a parking space and park itself. Eventually, the adaptive learning could allow the driver to use an application to park and summon the vehicle after the driver has exited the vehicle.
FF 91 will feature an SAE Level 3 capable autonomous driving system that will deliver multiple ADAS features through a combination of FF’s own as well as partners’ applications. FF plans to devote resources to autonomous driving research and development and plans to work with partners to deliver full autonomous-driving capabilities in highway and urban driving, as well as parking, across its vehicle lines in the future.
FF 91 Futurist currently has a target starting price of $180,000.
The FF 81 series is FF’s planned second vehicle model and is aimed at the premium mass market in the D-segment or E-segment (with a wheelbase of 3,000 mm). The FF 81 will be designed and built on FF’s proprietary VPA enabling up to 60% carry-over of common parts from FF 91. In addition, parts developed for the FF 81 can be carried back to FF 91 series. The large number of common parts shared across vehicle models creates economics of scale and reduces costs.
The FF 81 aims to deliver a premium user experience that emphasizes personalization. The FF 81 is planned with high-performance computing and next generation connectivity with a voice-first user interface and open ecosystem for third-party applications. It also has integrated, autonomous driving features and the pertinent hardware capability, including cameras, radars, ultrasound sensors, and optional LIDAR(s).
FF 81 Futurist is expected to compete with vehicles such as the Tesla Models S/X, BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport, etc.
FF’s third planned passenger vehicle, the FF 71 series, is expected to be a connected electric vehicle with a more compact size aiming at the mass market in the C-segment or D-segment (with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm). The FF 71 will be designed to integrate full connectivity and advanced technology into a smaller vehicle size. As FF is currently focusing on the development of the FF 91 and the FF 81, FF does not expect to start design and development of the FF 71 until 2023 and plans to launch the FF 71 Futurist configuration in the first quarter of 2025, assuming that sufficient funding is secured in a timely manner.
FF 71 Futurist is expected to compete with vehicles such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and Jaguar I-Pace.
Smart Last Mile Delivery (“SLMD”)
FF plans to provide purpose-built Smart Last Mile Delivery vehicles by leveraging its proprietary technologies developed for FF’s passenger vehicles, to build tailored SLMD configurations to meet the exact customer needs, whether for fleet provider or last mile delivery divisions, while reducing development time and costs.
FF’s technical solutions for advanced connectivity and user experience enable an easy integration of the SLMD as another device in the logistics system. Such features may include:
•Advanced connectivity and telematics for next-gen fleet management;
•OTA upgrade capability;
•Third party application integration on touch screen display;
•Surround view cameras for improved visibility;
•Equipped with Level 3 ready autonomy and ready-for-future capabilities; and
•SLMD’s adaptive modular build enables additional use cases (utilities, tradesmen, and others) with minimal additional time or investment.
FF plans to manufacture FF 91 series vehicles in its manufacturing facility in Hanford, California with a projected annual capacity of 10,000 vehicles. FF will conduct operations similar to traditional vehicle manufacturing facilities such as body assembly, paint operations, final vehicle assembly, and end-of-line testing for FF 91 in the Hanford manufacturing facility. FF intends for its vehicle engineering and manufacturing teams to work alongside one another to streamline the feedback loop for rapid product enhancements and quality improvement and will extensively utilize virtual manufacturing simulation methods to validate operations and improve the manufacturing processes.
For additional capacity for production of the FF 91 (i.e., exceeding 10,000 vehicles annually), FF can expand production operations in Hanford or seek capacity expansion elsewhere. For the FF 81, FF plans to outsource direct vehicle production to its contract manufacturing partner in South Korea, as FF believes outsourcing could reduce capital investment and accelerate its go-to-market strategy for launching the FF 81, while providing the benefit of flexibility to scale volume to match demand level. FF may outsource the production of the FF 71 to its contract manufacture partner in South Korea or a manufacturing joint venture in China or elsewhere. These plans align with FF’s asset-light, flexible manufacturing strategy. For more information about FF’s manufacturing facility, see the discussion below under the heading “Facilities.” For more information about FF’s memorandum of understanding for contract manufacturing in South Korea, see the discussion below under the heading “Key Agreements and Partnerships.”
Sales, Delivery, and Servicing of Vehicle
As of the date hereof, FF has not yet sold any electric vehicles. FF plans to adopt a direct sales model that utilizes a mix of online and offline presence to drive sales. FF’s offline sales network will consist of FF’s self-owned stores and FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms. The self-owned stores are expected to establish FF brand awareness, while the FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms are expected to expand the sales and distribution network without substantial capital investment by FF.
FF plans to establish stores and showrooms in certain key markets, which may include Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, London, Paris, and Oslo, among other cities. These locations will operate as experiential showrooms for FF’s electric vehicle models and will provide sales, aftersales, and charging services. The FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms will support FF’s online-to-offline sales model, vehicle delivery, charging service and other user operations.
All purchase transactions will be processed online through FF’s website or mobile apps, while FF Partners will support the process (including demonstration drives and providing vehicle information) and receive compensation for sales based on
sales territory and/or services performed. Users accessing FF.com can directly purchase the vehicle online and can choose their closest FF store or FF Partner-owned store and showroom for support. Customers going to a FF Partner-owned store will be supported by staff and directed to FF.com for purchasing. FF believes that once the reputation of FF’s vehicles has been established and users are familiar with FF vehicles, an increasing share of the vehicle sales process is likely to be completed fully online. This will further free up offline capacity and potentially increase productivity for FF’s Partner-owned stores. As FF will oversee delivery of the vehicles, both FF stores and FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms will be able to run their operations with lower on-site inventory, keeping them asset light.
The FF Partner-owned stores and showrooms will be the prioritized network for servicing FF’s vehicles, which may include repair, maintenance, and bodywork services. FF will also contract with select third-party service centers to ensure coverage and will deploy mobile service vans based on user demand. To ramp up its service capabilities, FF U.S., FF’s primary U.S. operating subsidiary, plans to enter into agreements with Somit Solutions and Cox Automotive to support the FF After-sales Systems and Operations. Somit Solutions will develop the underlying systems required to support all after-sales elements, such as warranty, parts catalog, repair manual systems. Cox Automotive will support FF after-sales operations , such as roadside assistance, towing logistics, as well as leveraging Cox’s extensive service center network. Additionally, FF users will benefit from FF’s connected remote service platform that can address a majority of service issues, perform remote diagnosis and OTA updates, perform artificial intelligence and predictive maintenance, and will be able to offer real-time service and repair status update to vehicle users.
FF has partnered with Tier-1 reputable, international suppliers in North America, Europe, and Asia. FF has selected and on-boarded suppliers for all critical parts for the FF 91. FF aims to obtain systems, components, raw materials, parts, manufacturing equipment, and other supplies and services from suppliers which FF believes to be reputable and reliable.
To expand the capacity for production of the FF 91 beyond FF’s Hanford plant, FF U.S. entered into a memorandum of understanding to secure additional capacity for painted bodies through its contract manufacturing partner in South Korea. FF also signed an agreement with the contract manufacturer in South Korea to reserve manufacturing capacity for the FF 81 in the same plant. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer in South Korea. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer in South Korea. FF aims to obtain systems, components, raw materials, parts, manufacturing equipment, and other supplies and services from suppliers which FF believes to be reputable and reliable.
FF has significant capabilities in the areas of vehicle engineering, development and design, and has developed a number of proprietary systems and technologies. As of March 31, 2022, FF has been granted more than 650 patents (with approximately a third issued in the U.S., slightly less than two-thirds issued in China, and the remaining issued in other jurisdictions). FF intends to continue to file additional patent applications with respect to its technology. FF’s patented technology covers UI/UX, powertrain, ADAS, body, hardware/software platform and chassis. Key patents include FF’s inverter assembly, integrated drive and motor assemblies, methods and apparatus for generating current commands for an interior permanent magnet (“IPM”) motor and seamless vehicle access system. These key patents will expire in 2035 or 2036.
Key Agreements and Partnerships
Strategic Partnership with Myoung Shin, South Korea
In February 2022, FF entered into a definitive contract manufacturing and supply agreement with Myoung Shin Co., Ltd. (“Myoung Shin”), a South Korea-based automotive manufacturer and parts supplier, to manufacture the Company’s second vehicle, the FF 81. The agreement has an initial term of nine years from the start of production of the FF 81, which is scheduled for 2024. Pursuant to the agreement, Myoung Shin shall maintain sufficient manufacturing capabilities and capacity to supply FF 81 vehicles to FF in accordance with the Company’s forecasts and purchase orders. FF and Myoung Shin will each manufacture and supply certain FF 81 parts that Myoung Shin will use in the manufacture and assembly of FF 81 vehicles.
Potential Partnership with Geely Holding
In December 2020, FF U.S. entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. (“Geely Holding”), who is also a subscriber in the Private Placement, pursuant to which the parties contemplate a strategic cooperation in various areas including engineering, technology, supply chain, and contract manufacturing.
In January 2021, Legacy FF, FF Automotive (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd. and FF Hong Kong Holding Limited, and Geely Holding entered into a cooperation framework agreement and a license agreement that set forth the major commercial understanding of the proposed cooperation among the parties in the areas of potential investment into the JV, engineering, technology, and contract manufacturing support. The cooperation with Geely Holding is temporarily on hold.
On September 7, 2021, the Company paid Liankong, a subsidiary of Geely Holding, which is also a subscriber in the PIPE Financing, in accordance with the Intellectual Property License Agreement dated January 11, 2021, as supplemented on September 7, 2021, a one-time amount of $50 million for a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and sublicensable license to use a platform, the Geely License, owned by Liankong. The Geely platform is an electric automotive chassis that the Company plans to use in the development and production of future electric vehicle models.
Strategic Partnerships on FF Partner Stores and Other Sales and Service
FF Partner Stores in the U.S.
FF U.S. has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Jolta for setting up FF Partner-owned stores in the U.S. for vehicle sales. The memorandum of understanding contemplates a coverage by Jolta of approximately 15 major U.S. cities by 2025 and 30 major U.S. cities going forward.
FF Partner Stores in China
FF U.S. has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with each of Harmony Auto, Topyoung, Huachi Fuwei, and Haipai to establish Partner-owned stores in more than 30 major cities in China for vehicle sales and service.
After-Sales and Service Offering
FF has plans to engage Somit Solutions to support developing the underlying after-sales Service Systems, Cox Automotive to support Aftersales Operations (US only), as well as SalesForce (US only) to launch and service the FF 91 in compliance with governmental agencies and to support Critical Path to deliver and service the first FF 91, in alignment with the company’s user journeys.
Human Capital Management
As of the date hereof, FF has 745 active employees globally. A majority of FF’s employees are engaged in research and development and related engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain functions. FF plans to ramp up additional hiring efforts for its targeted vehicle production and delivery. FF’s targeted hires typically have significant experience working for reputable OEMs, software, internet, consumer electronics and artificial intelligence companies, as well as tier-one automotive suppliers and engineering firms. FF has not experienced any work stoppages and considers its relationship with its employees to be good. None of FF’s employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement or represented by a labor union.
The FF team is composed of experienced talent from a variety of industry backgrounds and nationalities with a common goal of creating highly innovative and unique products. FF’s human capital resources objectives include, as applicable, identifying, recruiting, retaining, incentivizing and integrating existing and additional employees. Faraday Future is committed to the principle of ESG and is committed to building a safer, cleaner world. We have a diverse workforce and are committed to maintaining the highest standards of ethics and behavior.
Governmental Regulations, Programs and Incentives
FF operates in an industry that is subject to extensive environmental regulation, which has become more stringent over time. The laws and regulations to which FF is subject govern, among others, vehicle emissions and the storage, handling, treatment, transportation and disposal of hazardous materials and the remediation of environmental contamination. Compliance with such laws and regulations at an international, regional, national, provincial and local level is critical to FF’s ability to continue its operations.
Environmental standards applicable to FF are established by the laws and regulations of the countries in which FF operates, standards adopted by regulatory agencies and the permits and licenses issued to FF. Each of these sources is subject to periodic modifications and comprise what FF anticipates will be increasingly stringent requirements. Violations of these laws, regulations or permits and licenses may result in substantial administrative, civil or even criminal fines, penalties and orders to cease any violating operations or to conduct or pay for corrective work. In some instances, violations may also result in the suspension or revocation of permits or licenses.
Vehicle Safety and Testing Regulation
FF vehicles will be subject to, and must comply with, numerous regulatory requirements established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), including all applicable U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSS”). As a manufacturer, FF must self-certify that its vehicles meet all applicable FMVSSs before the vehicles are sold in the U.S. There are many FMVSSs that will apply to FF vehicles, such as crash-worthiness requirements, crash avoidance requirements and electric vehicle requirements (i.e., limitations on electrolyte spillage, battery retention and avoidance of electric shock after certain crash tests). FF’s future vehicles must fully comply with all applicable FMVSSs. Additionally, there are regulatory changes being considered for several FMVSSs, and FF must comply with all such FMVSS regulations.
In addition to FMVSS, FF will also be required to comply with other federal laws administered by NHTSA, including the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (“CAFE”) standards, Theft Prevention Act requirements, consumer information labeling requirements, early warning reporting requirements regarding warranty claims, field reports, death and injury reports and foreign recalls and owners’ manual requirements. FF must also comply with the Automobile Information and Disclosure Act, which requires manufacturers of motor vehicles to disclose certain information regarding the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, optional equipment and pricing. Further, this law allows inclusion of city and highway fuel economy ratings, as determined by EPA, as well as crash test ratings as determined by NHTSA.
FF vehicles sold outside of the U.S. will be subject to similar foreign safety, environmental, and other regulations. If those regulations and standards are different from those applicable in the U.S., FF will redesign and/or retest its vehicles. For example, the European Union (“E.U.”) has established new approval and oversight rules requiring that a national authority certify compliance with heightened safety rules, emissions limits and production requirements before vehicles can be sold in each E.U. member state, the initial of which rules were rolled out on September 1, 2020, and there is also regulatory uncertainty regarding how these rules will impact sales in the United Kingdom given its recent withdrawal from the E.U. These changes could impact the rollout of new vehicle features in Europe. FF vehicles sold in China will be subject to compulsory product certification by certification authorities designated by the State Certification and Accreditation Administration Committee. Additionally, for FF vehicles to be approved for manufacture and sale in China, FF vehicles will need to be added to the Announcement of Vehicle Manufacturers and Products issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) of China, by showing compliance with the relevant safety and technical requirements and other conditions, including among others, the Administrative Rules on the Admission of New Energy Vehicle Manufacturers and Products and the Administrative Rules on the Admission of Passenger Vehicles Manufacturer and Products, and passing the review by the MIIT.
Battery Safety and Testing Regulations
FF’s battery packs must conform to mandatory regulations governing the transport of “dangerous goods” that may present a risk in transportation, which includes lithium-ion batteries, and are subject to regulations issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. (“PHMSA”). These regulations are based on the UN Recommendations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations and related UN Manual Tests and Criteria. The regulations vary by mode of transportation when these items are shipped, such as by ocean vessel, rail, truck, or air. FF will complete the applicable transportation tests for its battery packs, demonstrating its compliance with applicable regulations. FF uses lithium-ion cells in its high-voltage battery packs. The use, storage and disposal of FF’s battery packs is regulated under federal law. FF will enter into agreements with third-party battery recycling companies to recycle FF’s battery packs.
In connection with the production, delivery, and placement into service of FF’s zero-emission vehicles, FF may earn tradable credits under certain governmental programs designed to incentivize such activities. FF may sell FF future credits to automotive companies and other regulated entities who can use the credits to comply with emission standards and other regulatory requirements. For example, under California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Regulation and those of states that have adopted California’s standards, vehicle manufacturers are required to earn or purchase credits, referred to as ZEV credits, for compliance with their annual regulatory requirements. These laws provide that automakers may bank or sell to other regulated parties their excess credits if they earn more credits than the minimum quantity required by those laws. FF may also earn other types of salable regulatory credits in the U.S. and abroad, including greenhouse gas, fuel economy, and clean fuels credits.
EPA Emissions and Certification
The U.S. Clean Air Act requires that FF obtain a Certificate of Conformity issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) or a California Executive Order issued by the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) certifying that FF vehicles comply with all applicable emissions requirements. A Certificate of Conformity is required for vehicles sold in states covered by the Clean Air Act’s standards. A CARB Executive Order is required for vehicles sold in states that have adopted
California’s stricter standards for emissions controls related to new vehicles and engines sold in such states. States that have adopted the California standards as approved by EPA also recognize the CARB Executive Order for sales of vehicles. In addition to California, there are 14 other states that have either adopted or are in the process of adopting the stricter California standards, including New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Colorado. FF is required to seek an EPA Certificate of Conformity for vehicles sold in states covered by the Clean Air Act’s standards or a CARB Executive Order for vehicles sold in California or any of the other 14 states identified above that have adopted the stricter California standards.
Regulation — Self Driving
There are no federal U.S. regulations pertaining to the safety of self-driving vehicles; however, the NHTSA has established recommended guidelines. Certain U.S. states have legal restrictions on self-driving vehicles, and many other states are considering them. This patchwork of licensing requirements increases the legal complexity for FF’s vehicles. In Europe, certain vehicle safety regulations apply to self-driving braking and steering systems, and certain treaties also restrict the legality of certain higher levels of self-driving vehicles. Self-driving laws and regulations are expected to continue to evolve in numerous jurisdictions in the U.S. and foreign countries, and may create restrictions on self-driving features that FF develops.
Automobile Manufacturer and Dealer Regulation
U.S. state laws regulate the manufacture, distribution and sale of automobiles, and generally require motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to be licensed in order to sell vehicles directly to consumers in the state. FF will need to secure dealer licenses (or their equivalent) and engage in sales activities for its self-owned stores and service centers, while partners in certain states will support by providing services via partner-owned stores and showrooms. FF has received its dealer license from the State of California.
In China, automobile suppliers and dealers are required to receive a business license and file and update the relevant information through the information management system for the national automobile circulation operated by the competent commerce department in China. Additionally, according to the Administrative Measures on Automobile Sales, automobile suppliers and dealers shall sell automobiles, spare parts, and other related products that are in compliance with relevant provisions and standards of the state, and the dealers shall, in an appropriate manner, expressly indicate the prices of automobiles, spare parts, and other related products as well as the rates of charges for various services on their business premises, and shall not sell products at higher prices or charge other fees without express indication.
FF has experienced, and expects to continue to experience, intense competition from several companies, particularly as the transportation sector increasingly shifts towards low-emission, zero-emission, or carbon neutral solutions. Many established and new automobile manufacturers have entered or have announced plans to enter the alternative fuel and electric vehicle market. Many major automobile manufacturers, such as Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes, and Audi, have electric vehicles available today. Other current and prospective automobile manufacturers are also developing electric vehicles, for example Nio, xPeng, Li Auto, Canoo and Fisker, among others. In addition, several manufacturers offer hybrid vehicles, including plug-in versions. FF directly competes with other pure-play electric vehicle companies targeting the high-end segment, while also competing to a lesser extent with new energy vehicles (“NEVs”) and internal combustion engine (“ICE”) vehicles in the mid to high-end segment offered by traditional OEMs. FF believes the primary competitive factors in the electric vehicle market include, but are not limited to:
•vehicle performance, quality, and safety;
•space, comfort, and user experience;
•service and charging options;
•design, styling, and interior materials; and
FF believes that it will compete favorably with its competitors on the basis of these factors. However, most of FF’s current and potential competitors have greater financial, technical, supply chain, manufacturing, marketing, and other resources than FF. They may be able to deploy greater resources to the design, development, manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, promotion, sales, marketing, and support of their electric vehicles. Additionally, FF’s competitors may also have greater name
recognition, longer operating histories, lower cost of materials, larger sales forces, broader customer and industry relationships, and other resources than FF does.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Below is a summary of material factors that make an investment in FF’s common stock speculative or risky. Importantly, this summary does not address all the risks and uncertainties that we face. Additional discussion of the risks and uncertainties summarized in this risk factor summary, as well as other risks and uncertainties that we face, can be found under “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The below summary is qualified in its entirety by those more complete discussions of such risks and uncertainties. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described under Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as part of your evaluation of an investment in FF’s common stock.
Summary Risk Factors
Risks Related to FF’s Business and Industry
•FF has a limited operating history and faces significant barriers to growth in the electric vehicle industry.
•FF has incurred losses in the operation of its business and anticipates that it will continue to incur losses in the future. It may never achieve or sustain profitability.
•FF’s operating results forecast largely relies on management’s assumptions and analyses, which could be incorrect.
•FF may be unable to meet its future capital requirements.
•FF has historically incurred substantial indebtedness and may continue to do so in the future, and it may not be able to refinance borrowings on terms that are acceptable to FF, or at all.
•FF’s vehicles are in development and its first vehicle may not be available for sale in the third quarter of 2022, if at all.
•FF’s independent registered public accounting firm’s report for fiscal years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 have expressed substantial doubt about FF’s ability to continue as a going concern.
•The findings of the Special Committee could adversely affect FF’s operations or financial results.
•FF is involved in an SEC investigation, and may be further subject to investigations and legal proceedings related to the matters underlying the Special Committee investigation.
•Potential future delays in the filing of FF’s reports with the SEC could result in the delisting of FF’s securities.
•FF will depend on revenue generated from a single model of vehicles in the foreseeable future.
•The market for FF’s vehicles is nascent and not established.
•FF is dependent on its suppliers, and the inability of these suppliers to timely deliver necessary components for FF products could adversely affect FF’s business and results of operations.
•FF may not develop the complex software and technology systems necessary for the production for its electric vehicles.
•FF identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting, which could continue to adversely affect our ability to accurately or timely report its financial condition or results of operations.
•FF has yet to obtain licenses and other rights in certain technologies, software, and content needed for its vehicles and FF may face technical difficulties and attendant delays in integrating such technologies in its vehicles.
•FF’s decision to manufacture its own vehicles in its leased Hanford, California facility does not guarantee FF will not incur significant delays in the production of the vehicles.
•FF’s contract manufacturer or other future contract manufacturer may fail to timely produce and deliver vehicles.
•Industry competition may impair FF’s revenues, increase its costs to acquire new customers, and hinder its ability to acquire new customers.
•FF’s go-to-market and sales strategy will require substantial investment and commitment of resources, and is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties.
•FF faces risks related to natural disasters, climate change, health epidemics and pandemics, terrorist attacks, war, civil unrest and other circumstances outside its control.
•FF’s election to protect some of its technologies as trade secrets rather than as patents has certain risks and disadvantages.
•Increased environmental, safety or other regulations, including disclosure rules, could result in higher costs, expenditures, and/or sales restrictions.
•Increases in costs, disruption of supply or shortage of materials used to manufacture FF’s vehicles could harm its business.
•FF may be subject to risks associated with autonomous driving technology.
•FF’s vehicles will make use of lithium-ion battery cells, which have been observed to catch fire or vent smoke and flame.
•FF’s founder and Chief Product and User Ecosystem Officer, Mr. Yueting Jia (“YT Jia”), is closely associated with the image and brand of FF. Circumstances affecting YT Jia’s reputation, and investor and public perception of his role and influence in FF, may shape FF’s brand and ability to do business. Additionally, YT Jia may continue to be subject to certain restrictions in China if not all creditors participating in YT Jia’s restructuring plan comply with the requirement to request removal of YT Jia from such restrictions.
•FF Global Partners LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“FF Global”), which is governed by an executive committee consisting of eight members, and may be controlled by YT Jia through familial and personal relationships, may exert influence over the management of FF through its issuance of equity interests as additional compensation to the management of FF. FF Global also may initiate shareholder litigation against FF through indirect equity holdings for purposes of influencing and/or removing certain officers and directors of FF.
Risks Related to FF’s Operations in China
•Changes in the political and economic policies of the PRC government may materially and adversely affect FF.
•Uncertainties regarding the Chinese legal system, regulations and enforcement policies could adversely effect on FF.
•Foreign currency fluctuations could reduce the value of, and amount of dividends payable on, our common stock.
•Changes in the laws and regulations of China or noncompliance with them could adversely affect FF.
•FF is a holding company and, in the future, may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by the PRC Subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements FF may have, and the restrictions on PRC Subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends or make other payments to FF could restrict its ability to satisfy its liquidity requirements and have a material adverse effect on FF’s ability to conduct its business.
•Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, we may be classified as a PRC “resident enterprise,” which could result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our non-PRC enterprise stockholders.
•FF and our stockholders face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in China resident enterprises through transfer of non-Chinese-holding companies.
•PRC regulation of loans to and direct investments in PRC entities by offshore holding companies may delay or prevent us from using the proceeds of the Business Combination to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC Subsidiaries, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.
•The PRC government can take regulatory actions and make statements to regulate business operations in China with little advance notice so our assertions and beliefs of the risks imposed by the Chinese legal and regulatory system cannot be certain, and actions related to oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in issuers with substantial operations in China could significantly limit or completely hinder our and the Selling Securityholders’ ability to offer or continue to offer shares of Class A Common Stock $0.0001 par value (“Class A Common Stock”), and warrants to purchase shares of Class A Common Stock (“Warrants”) to investors and cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless.
•The approval of, or filing or other administrative procedures with the China Securities Regulatory Commission or other PRC governmental authorities may be required in connection with certain of our financing activities, and, if required, we cannot predict if we will be able to obtain such approval or complete such filing or other administrative procedures.
•The M&A Rules and certain other PRC regulations establish complex procedures for some acquisitions of Chinese companies by foreign investors, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions in China.
•FF may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in PRC regulations on internet-related business, automotive businesses and other business carried out by FF’s PRC Subsidiaries.
•We face challenges from the evolving regulatory environment regarding cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection. Many of these laws and regulations are subject to change and uncertain interpretation, and any actual or alleged failure to comply with related laws and regulations regarding cybersecurity, information security, data privacy and protection could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
•Any independent registered public accounting firm operating in China that FF uses as an auditor for its operations in China will not be permitted to be subject to inspection by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”).
•U.S. regulatory bodies may be limited in their ability to conduct investigations or inspections of our operations in China.
•There may be difficulties in effecting service of legal process, conducting investigations, collecting evidence, enforcing foreign judgments or bringing original actions in China based on United States or other foreign laws against us and our management.
Risks Related to FF’s Business and Industry
FF has a limited operating history and faces significant barriers to growth in the electric vehicle industry.
FF was founded in 2014 and has built several prototype and pre-production vehicles. However, to date, FF has not started commercial production of its first electric vehicle. Although FF expects to start commercial sales of FF 91 series in the third quarter of 2022, there is no assurance FF will be able to develop the manufacturing capabilities and processes, or secure reliable sources of component supply to meet the quality, engineering, design or production standards, or the required production volumes to successfully grow into a viable business.
Furthermore, even if FF achieves production of electric vehicles, it faces significant barriers to growth in the electric vehicle industry, including continuity in development and production of safe and quality vehicles, brand recognition, customer base, marketing channels, pricing policies, talent management, value-added service packages and sustained technological advancement. If FF fails to address any or all of these risks and barriers to entry and growth, its business and results of operation may be materially and adversely affected.
Given FF’s limited operating history, the likelihood of its success must be evaluated especially in light of the risks, expenses, complications, delays and the competitive environment in which it operates. There is, therefore, no assurance that FF’s business plan will prove successful. FF will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by early commercial stage companies, including scaling its infrastructure and headcount, and may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties or delays in connection with its growth. In addition, due to the capital-intensive nature of FF’s business, it can be expected to continue to incur substantial operating expenses without generating sufficient revenues to cover those expenditures. There is no assurance FF will ever be able to generate revenue, raise additional capital when required or operate profitably. Any investment in FF is therefore highly speculative.
FF has incurred losses in the operation of its business and anticipates that it will continue to incur losses in the future. It may never achieve or sustain profitability.
The design, engineering, manufacturing, sales and service of intelligent, connected electric vehicles is a capital-intensive business. FF has incurred losses from operations and has had negative cash flows from operating activities since inception. FF incurred a net loss of $517 million and $147 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Net cash used in operating activities was $340 million and $41 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Since inception, FF has made significant investments in technology as well as vehicle design, development and tooling, construction of manufacturing facilities, employee compensation and benefits and marketing and branding. FF expects to continue or increase such investments, however, there can be no assurance these investments will result in the successful and timely delivery of FF 91 series or subsequent vehicle programs, or at all.
FF may incur unforeseen expenses, or encounter difficulties, complications, and delays in delivering FF 91 series, and therefore may never generate sufficient revenues to sustain itself. Even if FF brings FF 91 series to market, it may continue to incur substantial losses for reasons including the lack of demand for FF 91 series and the relevant services, increasing competition, challenging macroeconomic conditions, regulatory changes and other risks discussed herein, and so it may never achieve or sustain profitability.
FF expects its operating expenses to increase significantly in the future, which may impede its ability to achieve profitability.
FF expects to further incur significant operating costs which will impact its profitability, including research and development expenses as it introduces new models and improves existing models, capital expenditures in the expansion of its manufacturing capacities, additional operating costs and expenses for production ramp-up, raw material procurement costs, general and administrative expenses as it scales its operations, and sales, marketing, and distribution expenses as it builds its brand and markets its vehicles. Additionally, it may incur significant costs once it delivers FF 91 series, including vehicle service and warranty expenses.
FF’s ability to become profitable in the future will not only depend on its ability to successfully market its vehicles and other products and services, but also to control costs. Ultimately, FF may not be able to adequately control costs associated with its operations for reasons outside its control, including the cost of raw materials such as aluminum, steel and lithium-ion cells. Substantial increases in such costs could increase FF’s cost of revenue and its operating expenses, and could reduce its margins. Additionally, unforeseen events such as the current ongoing global pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine could adversely affect supply chains, impacting FF’s ability to control and manage costs. Additionally, currency fluctuations, tariffs or shortages in petroleum and other economic or political conditions could result in significant increases in freight charges and raw material costs. If FF is unable to design, develop, manufacture, market, sell and service its vehicles, including providing service in a cost-efficient manner, its margins, profitability, and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.
The rate at which FF may incur costs and losses in future periods compared to current levels may increase significantly, as it:
•continues to develop FF 91, FF 81, and FF 71 series and Smart Last Mile Delivery (“SLMD”) electric vehicle models;
•develops and equips its manufacturing facility in Hanford, California to produce FF 91, and prepares for manufacturing capabilities in South Korea and other potential manufacturing options, and in China for additional production capacity for FF 91 and other electric vehicle models;
•builds up inventories of parts and components for FF 91;
•develops and expands its design, development, maintenance, servicing and repair capabilities;
•opens offline FF stores; and
•increases its sales and marketing activities.
These efforts may be more expensive than FF currently anticipates, and these efforts may not result in increases in revenues, which could further increase its losses. As FF is seeking funding to realize its business operations plan based on its estimated capital requirements, any cost overruns that deviate from FF’s estimates may materially and adversely affect its business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
FF’s operating results forecast relies in large part upon assumptions and analyses developed by its management. If these assumptions and analyses prove to be incorrect, its actual operating results could suffer.
FF’s operating results forecast relies in large part upon assumptions and analyses developed by its management and reflects current estimates of future performance. Whether actual operating and financial results and business developments will be consistent with FF’s expectations and assumptions as reflected in the forecast depends on a number of factors, many of which are outside FF’s control, including, but not limited to:
•whether it can obtain sufficient capital to sustain and grow its business;
•its ability to manage growth;
•whether it can manage relationships with key suppliers;
•whether it can sign up and manage relationships with business partners for them to invest in and operate sales and service centers;
•the ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals;
•demand for its products and services;
•the timing and cost of new and existing marketing and promotional efforts;
•competition, including established and future competitors;
•its ability to retain existing key management, to integrate recent hires and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel;
•the overall strength and stability of domestic and international economies;
•regulatory, legislative and political changes; and
•consumer spending habits.
Specifically, FF’s results forecast is based on projected purchase prices, unit costs for materials, manufacturing, packaging and logistics, warranty, sales, marketing and service, and its projected number of orders for the vehicles with factors such as industry cost benchmarks taken into consideration. Any of these factors could turn out to be different than those anticipated. Unfavorable changes in any of these or other factors, most of which are beyond FF’s control, could materially and adversely affect its business, prospects, financial results and results of operations.
FF may be unable to meet its future capital requirements, including capital required for initial investments to reach initial production and revenue, which could jeopardize its ability to continue its business operations.
FF operates in a capital-intensive industry which requires significant cash to fund its operations. FF expects its capital expenditures to continue to be significant for the foreseeable future as it continues to develop and grow its business. While the Company currently expects to have sufficient cash on hand to commercially launch the FF 91 in the third quarter of 2022, FF’s cash liquidity needs after the launch of the FF 91 will depend on the extent to which FF’s actual costs vary from FF’s estimates and FF’s ability to control these costs and raise additional funds. Any challenges in supplier re-engagements, delays in ramping capacity or labor at Hanford or for sales and service engagements, rising prices of materials, or ongoing global supply chain disruptions may increase the need for additional capital to launch FF 91 series on time. Apart from FF 91 series, additional
capital may be required to fund operations, research, development, and design efforts for future vehicles. FF is exploring various alternatives to raise additional funding and finance its ongoing operations, including equipment leasing and construction financing of FF’s Hanford, California production facility, secured syndicated debt financing, convertible notes, working capital loans, and equity offerings, among other options. The particular funding mechanisms, terms, timing, and amounts are dependent on FF’s assessment of opportunities available in the marketplace and the circumstances of the business at the relevant time.
It is difficult to predict the demand for FF’s vehicles and appropriately budget for such expenses; and FF may have limited insight into trends that could emerge and affect its business. As a company, FF does not have experience manufacturing vehicles, and as such, there is no historical basis for FF to make judgments on the demand for its vehicles. If FF is unable to accurately estimate the demand for its vehicles, match the timing and quantities of component purchases to actual needs or successfully implement inventory management and other systems to accommodate the increased complexity in FF’s supply chain, FF may incur unexpected production disruption, and storage, transportation and other costs, which could have a material adverse effect on its business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
FF may raise additional funds through the issuance of equity, equity related or debt securities, or through obtaining credit from financial institutions or governmental organizations. FF cannot be certain that additional funds will be available on favorable terms when required, or at all, and any such financing may dilute FF’s stockholder value. If FF is unable to obtain funding in a timely manner or on commercially acceptable terms, or at all, its financial condition, results of operations, business and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
FF has historically incurred substantial indebtedness and may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, and it may not be able to refinance borrowings on terms that are acceptable to FF, or at all.
Since inception, FF has incurred cumulative losses from operations, negative cash flows from operating activities and had an accumulated deficit of $2,908 million as of December 31, 2021. In addition, FF had working capital (deficit) (being the extent to which total consolidated current liabilities exceeds total consolidated current assets less restricted cash) of $288 million and $(835) million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020. Although FF settled the majority of all of its existing debt in either equity or cash upon consummation of the Business Combination, and paid off certain other indebtedness with the proceeds of the Business Combination, FF may incur additional indebtedness from time to time to support its operations. If FF incurs additional debt, the risks it faces as a result of indebtedness and leverage could intensify. The incurrence of any additional debt could:
•limit FF’s ability to satisfy obligations under certain debt instruments, to the extent there are any;
•cause FF to seek bankruptcy protection or enter into other insolvency proceedings in the event FF is not able to renew or refinance any existing indebtedness as it becomes due;
•increase FF’s vulnerability to adverse general economic and industry conditions;
•require FF to dedicate a substantial portion of cash flow from operations to servicing and repaying indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow to fund its working capital, capital expenditures, and other general corporate purposes;
•increase its exposure to interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations;
•limit its ability to borrow additional funds and impose additional financial and other restrictions on FF, including limitations on declaring dividends; and
•increase the cost of additional financing.
Commercial banks, financial institutions and individual lenders may have concerns in providing additional financing for FF’s operations. The governments of the United States, China and Europe may also pass measures or take other actions that may tighten credit available in relevant markets. Any future monetary tightening measures as well as other monetary, fiscal and industrial policy changes and/or political actions by those governments could materially and adversely affect FF’s cost and availability of financing, liquidity, access to capital, and ability to operate our business.
FF’s vehicles are in development and its first vehicle may not be available for sale in the third quarter of 2022, if at all.
FF has not yet commenced production of any model and has not recognized any revenue as of the date hereof. FF’s future business depends in large part on its ability to execute on its plans to develop, manufacture, market, sell and deliver electric vehicles, including FF 91, FF 81, FF 71 series, and SLMD electric vehicle models that appeal to customers. Although FF plans to commence commercial sales of its first vehicle, the FF 91 series, in the third quarter of 2022, it may experience significant delays due to reasons such as supply shortages, design defects, talent gaps, and/or force majeure. For example, FF relies on third-party suppliers for the provision and development of many key components used in FF 91 and other models. To the extent FF’s suppliers experience any delays in providing or developing necessary components, or if they experience quality
issues, FF could experience delays in delivering on its timelines. For example, due to the delay in the closing of the Business Combination caused by PSAC’s re-evaluation of the accounting treatment for its Private Warrants, FF had to adjust and/or reduce certain payments to suppliers. Such adjustments and/or reductions could delay the launch date for the FF 91.
To the extent FF were to delay launch of FF 91 series, potential consumers may lose confidence in FF, and customers who have placed orders for FF 91 may cancel orders, which may curtail FF’s growth prospects. Additionally, FF’s competitors may move more quickly to market than FF, which could impact FF’s ability to grow its market share.
FF’s recurring losses from operations raise substantial doubt about FF’s ability to continue as a going concern. There is no assurance that FF will be successful in executing upon its operating plan and be able to maintain an adequate level of liquidity, which would result in FF not being able to continue as a going concern.
Since inception, FF has incurred cumulative losses from operations, negative cash flows from operating activities and has an accumulated deficit of $2,908 million and $2,391 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. FF expects to continue to generate significant operating losses for the foreseeable future. Based on FF’s recurring losses from operations since inception and continued cash outflows from operating activities, in FF’s audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, FF concluded that this circumstance raised substantial doubt about FF’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year from the original issuance date of such financial statements. Similarly, in its report on the consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, FF’s independent registered public accounting firm included an emphasis of matter paragraph stating that FF’s recurring losses from operations and continued cash outflows from operating activities raised substantial doubt about FF’s ability to continue as a going concern. FF’s consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 do not include any adjustments that may result from the outcome of this uncertainty. However, after the closing of the Business Combination and the PIPE Financing on July 21, 2021, FF received gross proceeds aggregating $990 million which it used to pay $84,278 in transaction costs and $139,557 to settle certain liabilities. The Company expects to use the remaining net proceeds of $767,148 from the Business Combination, as well as $172,031 in net proceeds received from the issuance of notes payable during 2021, to finance the ongoing operations of the business. FF management expects that the net proceeds from the Business Combination, along with cash balances held by FF prior to the Closing Date, will be sufficient to complete the final stages of the development and production of the FF 91 electric vehicle which is anticipated in the third quarter of 2022. Ongoing operations of the Company beyond the launch of the FF 91 will require the Company to raise additional funding. FF management’s plans include the continued development of its electric vehicle platform and bringing electric vehicle models to market. FF expects to continue to generate significant operating losses for the foreseeable future. The plans are dependent on the Company being able to continue to raise significant amounts of capital through the issuance of additional notes payable and equity securities.
Ongoing operations will require FF to raise additional funding. FF is exploring various alternatives to raise additional funding and finance its ongoing operations, including equipment leasing and construction financing of FF’s Hanford, California production facility, secured syndicated debt financing, convertible notes, working capital loans, and equity offerings, among other options. The particular funding mechanisms, terms, timing, and amounts are dependent on FF’s assessment of opportunities available in the marketplace and the circumstances of the business at the relevant time.
The timely achievement of FF’s operating plan as well as its ability to maintain an adequate level of liquidity are subject to various risks associated with FF’s ability to continue to successfully obtain additional sources of funding, and control and effectively manage its costs, as well as factors outside of the Company’s control, including those related to global supply chain disruptions, and the rising prices of materials and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. FF’s forecasts and projections of working capital reflect significant judgment and estimates for which there are inherent risks and uncertainties.
There can be no assurance that FF will be successful in achieving its strategic plans, that FF’s future capital raises will be sufficient to support its ongoing operations, or that any additional financing will be available in a timely manner or on acceptable terms, if at all. If events or circumstances occur such that FF does not meet its strategic plans, FF will be required to reduce discretionary spending, alter or scale back vehicle development programs, be unable to develop new or enhanced production methods, or be unable to fund capital expenditures. Any such events would have a material adverse effect on FF’s financial position, results of operations, cash flows, and ability to achieve its intended business objectives. Based on its recurring losses from operations since inception and continued cash outflows from operating activities, FF has concluded that there is substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern for a period of one year from the date that FF’s consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021 are issued.
If FF is unable to continue as a going concern, it may have to seek protection under applicable bankruptcy laws and/or liquidate or reorganize its assets and may receive less than the value at which those assets are carried on its consolidated financial statements. If this were to happen, it is likely investors would lose part or all of their investment. Future reports from FF’s independent registered public accounting firm may also contain statements expressing substantial doubt about FF’s ability
to continue as a going concern. If such doubt about FF continues, investors or other financing sources may be unwilling to provide additional funding to FF on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, and FF’s business may be harmed.
The findings of the Special Committee relating to allegations of inaccurate disclosures and remedial measures relating thereto could impact FF’s operations or financial results, and there can be no assurance that the remedial measures that have been and are being implemented will be successful, implemented or timely.
As previously disclosed on November 15, 2021, FF’s Board of Directors established a special committee of independent directors (the “Special Committee”) to investigate allegations of inaccurate Company disclosures. The Special Committee engaged outside independent legal counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and a forensic accounting firm, Alvarez and Marsal, to assist with its review. The Special Committee has completed its review and additional investigative work based on the Special Committee’s findings performed under the direction of the Executive Chairperson and reporting to the Audit Committee. In connection with the Special Committee review and subsequent investigative work, several findings were made, including that certain statements made by or on behalf of FF were inaccurate. Based on the results of the Special Committee investigation and subsequent investigative work described above, the Board approved a number of remedial actions, which FF has implemented or is in the process of implementing. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations – Recent Developments – Special Committee Investigation” for more information regarding the findings and remedial actions relating to the Special Committee investigation.
FF, under the direction of the newly appointed Executive Chairperson, is continuing to implement the remedial actions approved by FF Board of Directors and is committed to addressing the issues identified in connection with the Special Committee review and subsequent investigative work. No assurance can be provided that such remedial measures will be implemented in a timely manner or will be successful to prevent inaccurate disclosures in the future. FF also cannot predict whether, or to what extent, such remedial actions will impact its operations or financial results. In addition, the findings of the Special Committee review and subsequent investigative work performed at the direction of the Executive Chairperson could further subject FF to litigation and regulatory investigations and could cause FF to fail to meet its reporting obligations, any of which could diminish investor confidence in FF, cause a decline in the price of FF’s common stock and limit FF’s ability to access the capital markets.
For the audits of the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, FF’s independent registered public accounting firm included a note relating to FF’s ability to continue as a going concern in its report on FF’s audited financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
FF’s audit reports in 2021 and 2020 from its independent registered public accounting firm include an emphasis of matter paragraph stating that FF’s recurring losses from operations and continued cash outflows from operating activities raise substantial doubt about FF’s ability to continue as a going concern. FF’s consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that may result from the outcome of this uncertainty. As of the date FF’s audited consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2021 were issued, FF management expects that it would be required to obtain additional funding to continue as a going concern within the next 12 months, resulting in there being substantial doubt about FF's ability to continue as a going concern. If FF is unable to continue as a going concern, it may have to seek protection under applicable bankruptcy laws and/or liquidate or reorganize its assets and may receive less than the value at which those assets are carried on its consolidated financial statements. If such an event were to happen, it is likely investors would lose part or all of their investment. Future reports from FF’s independent registered public accounting firm may also contain statements expressing substantial doubt about FF’s ability to continue as a going concern. If such doubt about FF continues, investors or other financing sources may be unwilling to provide additional funding to FF on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, and FF’s business may be harmed.
FF is involved in an SEC investigation, and may be further subject to investigations and legal proceedings related to the matters underlying the Special Committee investigation, which may result in adverse findings, damages, the imposition of fines or other penalties, increased costs and expenses and the diversion of management’s time and resources.
On December 23, 2021, a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 was filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California, against the Company, among others, and its current Chief Executive Officer, its former Chief Financial Officer, its current Chief Product and User Ecosystem Officer, as well as the CFO of Legacy FF and former CFO of FF, and the Co-CEOs of PSAC. Also, on March 8, March 21, April 11, and April 25 2022, putative stockholder derivative lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California and United States District Court, District of Delaware against numerous current and former officers and directors of the Company alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and various common law claims. See “Business – Legal Proceedings and Vendor Trust” for further information regarding these lawsuits.
In connection with the Special Committee investigation, FF, certain members of the management team and FF employees received a notice of preservation and subpoena from the staff of the SEC stating that the SEC had commenced a formal investigation relating to the matters that were the subject of the Special Committee investigation beginning in October 2021. FF, which had previously voluntarily contacted the SEC in connection with the Special Committee investigation, is cooperating fully with the SEC’s investigation. The outcome of such an investigation is difficult to predict. We have incurred, and may continue to incur, significant expenses related to legal and other professional services in connection with the SEC investigation. At this stage, we are unable to assess whether any material loss or adverse effect is reasonably possible as a result of the SEC’s investigation or estimate the range of any potential loss.
FF has incurred legal and accounting expenses and may continue to incur significant legal and accounting expenditures in connection with the Special Committee investigation, SEC investigation and the shareholders lawsuits. Any legal proceedings resulting from these investigations and litigation, including further shareholder derivative litigation or governmental inquiries or investigations may further divert management’s time and attention and may result in the incurrence of significant expense, including legal fees. Such legal proceedings could also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows including as a result of such expenses or arising from any consequences of such legal proceedings including damages, monetary fines, sanctions, penalties, adverse publicity and damage to reputation.
Potential future delays in the filing of FF’s reports with the SEC could result in the delisting of FF’s securities which would have a material adverse effect on the market value of FF’s securities and could have a material adverse effect on its business.
FF was not timely in filing with the SEC its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 (the “2021 Q3 Form 10-Q”). As a result of such delay, FF received a letter from Nasdaq notifying FF that it was not in compliance with the requirements of Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1) for continued listing. FF received a similar letter on April 4, 2022 from Nasdaq because FF was not able to timely file with the SEC this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
As required, on February 1, 2022, FF submitted to Nasdaq a plan to regain compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). On March 15, 2022, Nasdaq granted an exception to enable FF to regain compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). Under the terms of the exception, FF is required to file the Q3 Form 10-Q and this Annual Report on Form 10-K on or before May 6, 2022. On May 4, 2022, FF received an extension from Nasdaq to file this Annual Report on Form 10-K by May 16, 2022 and regain compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). FF filed the Q3 Form 10-Q on May 6, 2022.
In the event that any periodic report is delayed, there is no assurance that we will be able to regain or maintain compliance with Nasdaq’s continued listing requirements with respect to any such delayed periodic report, which would result in our Class A Common Stock being delisted.
Delays in filing periodic reports and related financial statements could result in the delisting of FF’s securities which would significantly reduce the liquidity and market value of FF’s securities. In addition, such a delay could adversely affect FF’s ability to obtain financing and access the capital markets, and to the extent FF fails to make timely filings in the future, its access to financing may be impaired. The inability to obtaining financing may have a material adverse effect on FF’s ability to grow its business, acquire assets through acquisitions or optimize its portfolio and capital structure.
FF will depend on revenue generated from a single model of vehicles in the foreseeable future.
FF’s success will initially depend substantially on the future sales and success of FF 91 series. FF expects FF 91 series to be its only manufactured vehicle in the market in the near future; it remains uncertain when FF will raise sufficient funding to complete design, development, tooling and launch of its second model, FF 81 series. Historically, automobile customers have come to expect a variety of vehicle models offered in a manufacturer’s fleet and new and improved vehicle models to be introduced frequently. It remains uncertain if FF’s business will generate sufficient funds or FF will be able to obtain sufficient funds through other means to introduce new vehicle models on a regular basis. Given that FF’s business will depend on a single or limited number of models in the foreseeable future, to the extent a particular model is not well-received by the market, FF’s business prospects, financial condition and operating results could be materially and adversely affected.
The market for FF’s vehicles, including its SMLD vehicles, is nascent and not established.
FF’s B2C (“business-to-consumer”) passenger electric vehicles are planned to be with leading design and provide superior driving experience and personalized user experience in their respective customer segments. FF believes its electric vehicles represent the “smart mobility” of the next generation. FF’s growth is highly dependent upon the consumers’ reception and adoption of FF’s vision as to what the future of transportation and mobility should embody. Although there are many automakers introducing multiple options of mass-market electric vehicles, the market for the electric vehicles with ultra-new
technology and cutting-edge styling is still nascent and untested. In addition to vehicles targeting end customers, FF plans to build the SMLD vehicles targeting B2B (“business-to-business”) last-mile delivery logistics companies. FF believes its modular approach to vehicle design provides adaptive and sustainable solutions in the commercial vehicle segment, thus meeting the needs of commercial vehicle owners. However, there is uncertainty as to the future demands for FF’s vehicles in both B2B and B2C market segments, and there is no assurance that the retail and commercial vehicle market FF envisions for its vehicles will be established. To a large extent, it depends on general economic, political, and social conditions, all of which are beyond FF’s control.
FF is dependent on its suppliers, the majority of which are single-source suppliers. The inability of these suppliers to deliver necessary components for FF’s products according to the schedule and at prices, quality levels and volumes acceptable to FF, or FF’s inability to efficiently manage these suppliers, could have a material adverse effect on its business prospects, financial condition and operating results.
The FF 91 model incorporates over 2,000 purchased components sourced from over 250 suppliers, many of whom are currently FF’s single-source suppliers for the components they supply, and FF expects this to be similar for any other vehicles FF may produce. The supply chain exposes FF to multiple potential sources of delivery failure or component shortages. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in the supply chain, which may continue due to the complex and compounding problems, including shortages of personnel. To the extent FF’s suppliers experience any delays in providing FF with or developing necessary components or experience quality issues, FF could experience delays in delivering on its planned timelines.
Currently, FF has not approved secondary sources for the key single sourced components used in FF 91. Generally, FF does not maintain long-term agreements with these single-source suppliers.
Historically, certain suppliers ceased supplying their components and initiated legal claims against FF when FF failed to make overdue payments. While most of these legal claims have been settled through the vendor trust FF established in April 2019 (“Vendor Trust”), there are still a number of remaining disputes with suppliers in the U.S. and in China. Any disruption in the supply of components, whether or not from a single-source supplier, could temporarily disrupt FF’s production until a satisfactory alternative supplier is found, which can be time consuming and costly. There can be no assurance that FF would be able to successfully retain alternative suppliers or supplies in a timely manner or on acceptable terms, if at all. If FF is unable to efficiently manage its suppliers, including its relationship with them, FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and operating results may be materially and adversely affected. Additionally, changes in business and/or political conditions, force majeure events, changes in regulatory framework and other factors beyond FF’s control could also affect the suppliers’ ability to deliver components in a timely manner. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and operating results and could result in a material change in FF’s operations and a material reduction in the market value of FF’s securities.
If any of FF’s suppliers become economically distressed or go bankrupt, FF may be required to provide substantial financial support or take other measures to ensure supplies of components or materials, which could increase FF’s costs, affect its liquidity or cause production disruptions.
FF expects to purchase various types of equipment, raw materials and manufactured component parts from its suppliers. If any of these suppliers experience substantial financial difficulties, cease operations, or otherwise face business disruptions, FF may be required to provide substantial financial support to ensure supply continuity, or FF would have to take other measures to ensure components and materials remain available. Any disruption could affect FF’s ability to deliver vehicles and could increase FF’s costs and negatively affect its liquidity and financial performance.
FF faces a number of challenges in the sale and marketing of its vehicles.
FF plans to enhance its brand recognition, improve its brand reputation and grow its client base by substantial investments in marketing and business development activities. However, FF cannot guarantee that its marketing spending or the marketing strategies it plans to adopt will have their anticipated effect or generate returns. FF faces a number of challenges in the sale and marketing of its vehicles, including, without limitation:
•Demand in the automobile industry is highly volatile;
•Final delivered range, performance and quality of FF’s vehicles may vary from estimates;
•It is expensive to establish a strong brand. FF may not succeed in continuing to establish, maintain and strengthen the FF brand in a cost-efficient manner, or at all;
•Many consumers are not aware of the benefits of FF’s products, which may depend on factors beyond FF’s control such as transition of consumer behaviors;
•FF competes with other automotive manufacturers for consumer spending;
•FF’s failure to keep up with rapid technological changes could make its vehicles less attractive than those of competitors or make potential customers unwilling to pay a premium for FF’s vehicles;
•FF may not be able to attract a sufficient number of retail partners to support its expected sales volumes; and
•FF’s efforts to develop and market its SLMD vehicles might not be successful given the fact that its target customers are commercial logistic companies which have different requirements compared to retail consumers.
If FF is unable to efficiently enhance its brand and market its products, its business prospects, financial condition and operating results may be adversely and materially affected.
FF needs to develop complex software and technology systems in coordination with vendors and suppliers to reach production for its electric vehicles, and there can be no assurance such systems will be successfully developed.
FF’s vehicles will use a substantial amount of third-party and in-house software code and complex hardware to operate. The development of such advanced technologies is inherently complex, and FF will need to coordinate with vendors and suppliers to achieve development for its electric vehicles. Defects and errors may be revealed over time, and FF’s control over the performance of third-party services and systems may be limited. FF is relying on third-party suppliers to develop and manage emerging technologies for use in its vehicles, including lithium-ion battery technology. As technology in electric vehicles is constantly evolving, FF may also need to rely on suppliers to develop technologies that are not yet commercially viable. There can be no assurances that FF’s suppliers will be able to meet the technological requirements, production timing, and volume requirements needed to support FF’s business plan. Nor can FF assure that such emerging technologies and systems will be successfully developed on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. FF’s potential inability to develop the necessary software and technology systems may harm its competitive position and its business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
FF identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting. If FF is unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if it identifies additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fails to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, it may not be able to accurately or timely report its financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect FF’s business and share price.
FF identified material weaknesses in FF’s internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of its annual or interim consolidated financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weaknesses are as follows:
•FF did not design and maintain an effective control environment commensurate with its financial reporting requirements. Specifically, FF lacked a sufficient number of professionals with an appropriate level of accounting knowledge, training and experience to appropriately analyze, record and disclose accounting matters timely and accurately. Additionally, management did not establish formal reporting lines in pursuit of its objectives. Further, the lack of a sufficient number of professionals resulted in an inability to consistently establish appropriate authorities and responsibilities in pursuit of its financial reporting objectives, as demonstrated by, among other things, insufficient segregation of duties in its finance and accounting functions.
•FF did not design and maintain effective controls in response to the risks of material misstatement. Specifically, changes to existing controls or the implementation of new controls were not sufficient to respond to changes to the risks of material misstatement to financial reporting, due to growth in the business.
•FF did not design and maintain effective controls for communicating and sharing information between the legal, capital markets, and accounting and finance departments. Specifically, the accounting and finance departments were not consistently provided the complete and adequate support, documentation, and information including the nature of relationships with certain counterparties to record transactions within the financial statements timely, completely and accurately.
These material weaknesses contributed to the following additional material weaknesses:
•FF did not design and maintain effective controls to address the identification of and accounting for certain non-routine, unusual or complex transactions, including the proper application of U.S. GAAP to such transactions.
Specifically, FF did not design and maintain controls to timely identify and account for embedded derivatives related to convertible notes, impute interest on related party notes payable with interest rates below market rates, account for failed sale leaseback transactions, and account for warrant instruments.
•FF did not design and maintain formal accounting policies, procedures and controls to achieve complete, accurate and timely financial accounting, reporting and disclosures, including controls over the period-end financial reporting process addressing areas including financial statement and footnote presentation and disclosures, account reconciliations and journal entries, including segregation of duties, assessing the reliability of reports and spreadsheets used in controls, and the timely identification and accounting for cut-off of expenditures.
These material weaknesses resulted in adjustments primarily related to expense cut-off and the associated accounts including operating expenses, accounts payable and accruals, property and equipment, convertible notes payable and interest expense and related financial disclosures, which were recorded as of and for the year ended December 31, 2019. These material weaknesses also resulted in adjustments primarily related to the extinguishment of a noncontrolling interest, accounts payable, vendor payables in trust and adjustments to the statement of cash flows which were recorded as of and for the year ended December 31, 2019 as well as disclosure errors related to the anti-dilutive shares excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share, deferred tax assets and related valuation allowance, accrued interest for certain notes payable, and the fair value of the Vendor Trust as of December 31, 2019. Additionally, the material weakness related to accounting for warrant instruments resulted in the restatement of the previously issued financial statements of the entity acquired as part of the July 21, 2021 merger agreement related to warrant liabilities and equity.
•FF did not design and maintain effective controls over information technology (“IT”) general controls for information systems that are relevant to the preparation of its financial statements, specifically, with respect to (i) program change management controls to ensure that IT program and data changes affecting financial IT applications and underlying accounting records are identified, tested, authorized and implemented appropriately; (ii) user access controls to ensure appropriate segregation of duties and that adequately restrict user and privileged access to financial applications, programs, and data to appropriate company personnel; and (iii) computer operations controls to ensure that critical batch jobs are monitored and data backups are authorized and monitored. These IT deficiencies did not result in a material misstatement to the consolidated financial statements, however, the deficiencies, when aggregated, could result in misstatements potentially impacting all financial statement accounts and disclosures that would not be prevented or detected.
In connection with the Special Committee Investigation, and the completion of additional investigative and remedial work based on Special Committee findings, which were performed under the direction of the newly-appointed Executive Chairperson, reporting to the Audit Committee, additional material weaknesses were identified in FF’s internal control over financial reporting. Specifically, in addition to the material weaknesses described above relating to management not establishing formal reporting lines in pursuit of its objectives as well as maintaining effective controls for communicating and sharing information between the legal, capital markets, and accounting and finance departments, the following material weaknesses were identified:
•FF did not maintain an effective control environment or demonstrate a commitment to maintain integrity and ethical values. Specifically, certain members of senior management failed to reinforce the need for an attitude of compliance and internal control awareness with certain of FF’s governance, accounting and finance policies and procedures. This resulted in the inaccurate and incomplete disclosures of certain relationships, arrangements, and transactions.
This material weakness contributed to the following additional material weakness:
•FF did not design and maintain effective controls related to the identification and disclosure of certain arrangements and transactions with related parties.
The material weaknesses identified in connection with the Special Committee Investigation resulted in the revision of our previously filed financial statements as of and for the period ended December 31, 2020 related to notes payable, related party notes payable, accrued interest, related party accrued interest, interest expense, and related party interest expense.
Additionally, each of the material weaknesses described above could result in a misstatement of substantially all of our accounts or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
FF has begun implementation of a plan to remediate the material weaknesses described above. While FF believes these efforts will remediate the material weaknesses, FF may not be able to complete its evaluation, testing or any required remediation in a timely fashion, or at all. FF cannot assure you that the measures it has taken to date and may take in the future, will be sufficient to remediate the control deficiencies that led to its material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting or that they will prevent or avoid potential future material weaknesses. The effectiveness of FF’s internal control over financial reporting is subject to various inherent limitations, including cost limitations, judgments used in decision making, assumptions about the likelihood of future events, the possibility of human error and the risk of fraud. If FF is unable to remediate its material weaknesses, FF’s ability to record, process and report financial information accurately, and to prepare financial statements within the time periods specified by the forms of the SEC, could be adversely affected which, in turn, to may adversely affect FF’s reputation and business and the market price of the Class A Common Stock. In addition, any such failures could result in litigation or regulatory actions by the SEC or other regulatory authorities, loss of investor confidence, delisting of FF’s securities and harm to FF’s reputation and financial condition, or diversion of financial and management resources from the operation of FF’s business.
FF has yet to obtain licenses and other rights in certain technologies, software, and content needed for its vehicles and FF may face technical difficulties and attendant delays in integrating such technologies in its vehicles. Licensing third-party technology carries risks that are difficult to control. Accordingly, FF may need to modify aspects of planned vehicle designs and alter features.
FF has not yet obtained rights for certain technologies, software, and content that FF currently plans to employ in its vehicles. For example, FF still needs to acquire rights to software to enable autonomous driving, and such software will need to be customized for its use. In addition, while FF plans to differentiate its vehicles from those of its competitors by offering a rich and connected set of mobile entertainment offerings, FF has yet to conclude the requisite agreements with connectivity and content providers. The licensors and service providers of such software, connectivity, and content may insist on pricing and other legal and commercial terms that FF considers unreasonable or unacceptable. If FF cannot obtain all of the rights and services FF needs on acceptable terms and on a timely basis, FF may need to change its plans and omit planned features.
Moreover, even if FF does obtain the technologies, software, and content that FF needs from third parties, FF may encounter technical difficulties integrating them into its vehicles and with each other. In general, the software FF needs to license must be developed and customized for FF. Delays in development of a single software system, or delays in successfully integrating the system with other complex systems, could delay the launch of a vehicle model. Any delay in launch dates for FF’s vehicles could have an adverse effect on FF’s financial performance. Licensing third-party technology also carries the risk that the licensed technology has bugs or other defects or that such technology infringes another person’s intellectual property rights, without FF’s ability to directly influence or mitigate the impacts of such circumstances.
FF’s decision to manufacture its own vehicles in its leased Hanford, California facility does not guarantee FF will not incur significant delays in the production of the vehicles.
FF plans to continue to build-out its leased manufacturing facility in Hanford, California to commence production of FF 91 series in the third quarter of 2022. Additionally, this construction may experience unexpected delays or other difficulties which could further increase costs and/or adversely affect FF’s scheduled timeline to manufacture and deliver vehicles. Further, manufacturing and assembling components in-house in the Hanford facility does not guarantee that the production of its vehicles will be on schedule. Various risks and uncertainties inherent in all new manufacturing processes could result in delays in the production of FF’s vehicles, including for example those with respect to:
•pace of bringing production equipment and processes online with the capability to manufacture high-quality units at scale;
•compliance with complex and evolving environmental, workplace safety and similar regulations;
•channels to secure necessary equipment, tools and components from suppliers on acceptable terms and in a timely manner;
•the ability to attract, recruit, hire and train skilled employees;
•a health emergency such as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, difficult economic conditions and international political tensions, the conflict in Ukraine; and
•other delays and cost overruns.
Production and manufacturing of some of FF’s vehicles will be outsourced to a third-party contract manufacturer in South Korea and potentially through a joint venture in China. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer in South Korea. If such contract manufacturer or joint venture fails to produce and deliver vehicles in a timely manner for any reason, FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation could be materially harmed.
FF is outsourcing the manufacturing of some of its vehicles to a third-party contract manufacturer in South Korea and may also set up a joint venture in China for vehicle manufacturing, which FF may heavily rely upon. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer in South Korea. Collaboration with third parties, including FF’s contract manufacturing agreement a third-party contract manufacturer in South Korea and FF’s potential joint venture, for the manufacturing of vehicles is subject to risks that may be outside FF’s control. FF has yet to enter into any legally binding definitive agreements regarding such third-party contract manufacturers (other than with a third-party contract manufacturer in South Korea) or joint venture. The parties could revise or terminate the preliminary memorandum of understanding with the joint venture. The parties may also not reach agreement on legally binding definitive documents regarding such joint venture, could abandon the related preliminary memorandum of understanding and cooperation agreement and pursue other commercial arrangements (such as contract manufacturing or sale) or could terminate the preliminary memorandum of understanding and cooperation agreement at any time before the definitive agreements are signed. Even though the definitive agreement has been signed with the third-party contract manufacturer in South Korea, there remains uncertainty if the manufacturing facility would be build-out as planned or if the parties will cooperate with each other as agreed. For example, FF entered into a joint venture agreement with The9 Limited in March 2019 with the intent for the joint venture to serve the China market with capabilities to manufacture, market, distribute, and sell a new model designed for the JV based on concepts of FF 91. However, the joint venture has been dormant since then because The9 Limited has never provided the required funding, and as a result, FF has not licensed its IP to the joint venture.
In addition, FF could experience delays if such third-party contract manufacturing partner or joint venture does not meet agreed upon timelines or experiences capacity constraints. There is risk of potential disputes with business partners, and FF could be affected by adverse publicity related to its business partners, whether or not such publicity is related to their collaboration with FF. FF’s ability to successfully build a premium brand could also be adversely affected by perceptions if the quality of the third-contract manufacturing partners or joint venture’s products not related to FF’s products are questioned. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that FF will successfully ensure its manufacturing partners or joint ventures maintain appropriate quality standards, with any failure to do so adversely affecting customers’ perceptions of FF’s self-manufactured electric vehicles.
If FF experiences delays, disputes or other difficulties with third-party manufacturers or joint ventures that FF outsources orders to, there can be no assurance that it would be able to engage other third parties or to establish or expand its own production capacity to meet the needs of its customers in a timely manner or on acceptable terms, or at all. The expense and time required to complete any transition, and to assure that vehicles manufactured at facilities of new manufacturers comply with FF’s quality standards and regulatory requirements may be greater than anticipated. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect FF’s business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Changes in U.S. and international trade policies, including the export and import controls and laws, particularly with regard to China, may adversely impact FF’s business and operating results.
FF operates with a United States and China dual-home market strategy, partnering with leading international suppliers from North America, Europe and Asia. While FF believes this is the best strategic business model, it also is more subject to risks associated with international trade conflicts including between the United States and China, particularly with respect to export and import controls and laws. Former President Donald J. Trump advocated for greater restrictions on international trade in general, which significantly increased tariffs on certain goods imported into the United States - particularly from China. Former President Trump also took steps toward restricting trade in certain goods. In response, China and other countries imposed similar retaliatory tariffs and other measures and such international trade conflicts have continued under the Biden Administration.
On December 23, 2021, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which effectively prohibits imports of any goods made either wholly or in part in Xinjiang, was signed into law. The law prohibits “the importation of goods made with forced labor” unless U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines, based on “clear and convincing evidence”, that the goods in question were not produced “wholly or in part by forced labor”, and submits a report to the U.S. Congress setting out its findings. While we do not currently expect that this law will directly affect our supplies, since we do not believe that our suppliers source materials from Xinjiang for the products they sell to us, other renewable energy companies’ attempts to shift suppliers in response to this law, withhold release orders, or other policy developments could result in shortages, delays, and/or price increases that could disrupt our own supply chain or cause our suppliers to renegotiate existing arrangements with us or
fail to perform on such obligations. Broader policy uncertainty could also reduce Chinese panel production, affecting supplies and/or prices for panels, regardless of supplier. While we have developed multiple supply sources in a variety of countries, we could still be adversely affected by increases in our costs, negative publicity related to the industry, or other adverse consequences to our business.
Rising political tensions could reduce trade volume, investment, technological exchange and other economic activities between major international economies, resulting in a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets. Additionally, increasing tariffs could impact raw material prices, the cost of component parts and transportation. Any of the foregoing could have an adverse effect on FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. The Biden administration may also enact policy changes that could have an impact on FF’s business.
Continued or increased price competition in the automotive industry generally, and in electric and other alternative fuel vehicles, may harm FF’s business.
Increased competition could result in lower vehicle unit sales, increased inventory, price reductions, revenue shortfalls, loss of customers and loss of market share, which could harm FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and operating results. For example, the automotive industry has witnessed increasing price competition over the years. With more competitors entering the field, many manufacturers are facing downward price pressure and have been adjusting their pricing strategies. FF may not have the same financial resources as some of the competitors to allow it to adjust pricing strategies, which may result in a loss of customers and future market share. On the other hand, if FF follows the downward price adjustment trend, its ability to generate revenues and achieve profitability may be adversely affected. Any of the foregoing may harm FF’s business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition.
FF faces competition from multiple sources, including new and established domestic and international competitors, and expects to face competition from others in the future, including competition from companies with new technology. This fierce competition may impair FF’s revenues, increase its costs to acquire new customers, and hinder its ability to acquire new customers.
The automotive market in the United States, China, and the European Union, which are FF’s target markets, is and will remain highly competitive. A significant and growing number of established and new automobile manufacturers, as well as other companies, have entered or are reported to have plans to enter the alternative fuel vehicle market, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, as well as the market for autonomous driving technology and applications. In some cases, such competitors have announced an intention to produce electric vehicles exclusively at some point in the future. FF directly competes with other pure-play electric vehicle companies targeting the high-end market segment, and also competes to a lesser extent with new energy vehicles (“NEVs”) and internal combustion engine (“ICE”) vehicles in the mid- to high-end market segment offered by traditional OEMs. In light of the increased demand and regulatory push for and technology changes in connection with the alternative fuel vehicles, FF expects competition in the industry to intensify with more new players in the future, including companies with new technology.
Many of FF’s current and potential competitors, have significantly greater financial, technical, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and other resources than FF, and are able to devote greater resources to the design, development, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, sale and support of their products than FF. In order to acquire customers and better compete, FF may have to incur significant expenses for marketing and business development activities and discounts. Any inability to successfully compete with new or existing competitors may prevent FF from attracting new customers and result in loss of market share. By the time FF starts delivering FF 91, a substantial portion of the market share may have already been taken by FF’s competitors. There can be no assurance that FF will be able to compete successfully in global and local markets, failure of which may materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
FF’s go-to-market and sales strategy, including its own and partner stores and showrooms as well as FF’s online web platform, will require substantial investment and commitment of resources and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties.
FF intends to establish online and offline marketing, sales, and after-sales channels, which consist of its own stores, partner stores and showrooms and an online web platform. FF plans to distribute its vehicles in certain key markets through its direct stores, while establishing a distribution model of direct sales and partner-owned stores and showrooms in other markets. Users will be able to place orders and purchase FF’s vehicles exclusively through an online platform while assigning the transaction to a specific store or showroom. Establishing FF’s direct stores rather than exclusively distributing its vehicles though partner stores will require significant capital expenditures and may result in reduced or slower expansion of FF’s distribution and sales systems in the key markets compared to a traditional dealership system.
FF expects the partner stores and showrooms (such partners are “FF Partners” and such stores or showrooms are “FF Partner Stores and showrooms”) will be compensated from the sales and services that are conducted online and from the capital upside of the FF equity that the retail partners will receive as an incentive for making their initial investment in stores of showrooms. However, FF cannot assure that its partner business model will be as attractive as that of traditional OEMs and thus that FF will be able to scale up its network to an adequate size. In addition, FF is not in a position to guarantee that it will be able to generate sufficient traffic to FF’s online web platform or to attract enough users to place orders. Moreover, FF will be competing with automakers with well-established distribution channels, which places significant risk to the successful implementation of FF’s business plan.
If FF is unable to roll out and establish a broad network covering both online and offline channels that fully meet customers’ expectations, consumer experience could be adversely affected, which could in turn materially and adversely affect FF’s business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Implementing the FF business model is subject to numerous significant challenges, including obtaining permits and approvals from government authorities, and FF may not be successful in addressing these challenges. In addition, dealer trade associations may mount challenges to FF’s distribution strategy by challenging the legality of FF’s operations in court and employing administrative and legislative processes to attempt to prohibit or limit FF’s ability to operate. All these would have a material and adverse effect on FF’s business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition.
Difficult economic conditions, financial or economic crises, or the perceived threat of such a crisis, including a significant decrease in consumer confidence, may affect consumer purchases of premium items, such as FF’s electric vehicles.
Sales of premium consumer products, such as FF 91 and other electric vehicles, depend in part on discretionary consumer spending and therefore may decline based on adverse changes in general economic conditions. The global economy and financial markets experience significant disruptions from time to time, constantly facing new challenges, including the recent uncertainties over the impact of Brexit, ongoing trade disputes and tariffs, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic policies taken by various governments around the world. It is unclear whether these challenges will be successfully addressed and what effects they may have. There is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies that have been adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies. Any prolonged slowdown in economic development might lead to tighter credit markets, increased market volatility, sudden drops in business and consumer confidence and dramatic changes in business and consumer behaviors.
Specifically, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, difficult macroeconomic conditions, such as decreases in per capita income and disposable income, increased and prolonged unemployment, a decline in consumer confidence, and/or reduced spending by businesses could have a material adverse effect on future investor interest or customer demand for FF’s vehicles. In response to the perceived uncertainty in economic conditions, consumers might delay, reduce or cancel purchases of such electric vehicles. Potential customers may seek to reduce spending by foregoing luxurious new energy vehicles. Decreased demand for FF vehicles, particularly in the United States and China, could negatively affect the business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations of FF.
FF faces risks related to natural disasters, climate change, health epidemics and pandemics, terrorist attacks, civil unrest and other circumstances outside its control, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, which could significantly disrupt FF’s operations.
The occurrence of unforeseen or catastrophic events, including the emergence of an epidemic, pandemic or other widespread health emergency, civil unrest, war (such as the conflict in Ukraine), terrorist attacks, climate change or natural disasters could create economic and financial disruptions. These types of events could lead to operational difficulties, impair FF’s ability to manage its business and expose FF’s business activities to significant losses. FF’s management and operational teams are based in the United States and China. FF has a manufacturing facility in Hanford, California, and has executed an agreement with a contract manufacturer in South Korea. FF is also exploring other potential contract manufacturing options in addition to the contract manufacturer in South Korea. Additionally, FF may establish manufacturing through a joint venture in China and/or other regions for certain future vehicle models. An unforeseen or catastrophic event in any of these regions could adversely impact FF’s operations.
Most recently, there has been a pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19, including changes in consumer and business behavior, pandemic fears, market downturns, and restrictions on business and individual activities has created significant volatility in the global economy and has led to reduced economic activity. The spread of COVID-19 has also created a disruption in the manufacturing, delivery and overall supply chain of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, and has led to a global decrease in vehicle sales in markets around the world.
The pandemic has resulted in government authorities implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, and business shutdowns. For example, FF’s employees based in California have been periodically subject to stay-at-home orders from state and local governments. These measures may adversely impact FF’s employees and operations and the operations of FF’s suppliers and business partners, and could negatively impact the construction schedule of FF’s manufacturing facility and the production schedule of FF 91. In addition, various aspects of FF’s business and manufacturing facility cannot be conducted remotely. These measures by government authorities may remain in place for a significant period of time and could adversely affect FF’s construction and manufacturing plans, sales and marketing activities, and business operations.
The spread of COVID-19 has caused FF to modify its business practices, including limiting employee travel, requiring all non-essential personnel to work from home, and canceling or reducing physical participation in meetings, events and conferences. Further action may be required by government authorities or the Company to ensure the health and safety of FF’s employees, customers, suppliers, vendors and business partners. There is no assurance that such actions will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus or be satisfactory to government authorities. If significant portions of FF’s workforce are unable to work effectively, including due to illness, quarantines, social distancing, government actions or other restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, FF’s business prospects, financial condition and results of operations will be negatively impacted.
On April 17, 2020, the Company entered into a Paycheck Protection Program Promissory Note (“PPP Note”) with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender East West Bank under the Paycheck Protection Program of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). The Company received total proceeds of $9.2 million from the PPP Note. In accordance with the requirements of the CARES Act, the Company used the proceeds for payroll costs and rent. As of December 31, 2021, the SBA informed the Company that a principal amount of $8,975 as well as accrued interest of $155 was forgiven. The balance of $195 (including accrued interest) was paid in April 2022.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts FF will depend on future developments which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to the duration and spread of the pandemic, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, the effectiveness and side effects of vaccines, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating activities can resume. The COVID-19 pandemic could limit the ability of FF’s suppliers and business partners to perform, including third-party suppliers’ ability to provide components, materials and service used for FF 91. FF may also experience an increase in the cost of raw materials. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, FF may continue to experience an adverse impact to its business as a result of the global economic impact and any lasting effects on the global economy, including any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future.
If FF is unable to attract and/or retain key employees and hire qualified personnel, its ability to compete could be harmed.
FF’s success depends substantially on the continued efforts of its executive officers and key employees. If one or more of FF’s executive officers or key employees are unable or unwilling to continue their services with FF, FF may not be able to replace them easily, in a timely manner, or at all. In addition, certain FF employees received payment of bonuses at the Closing of the Business Combination in recognition of their reduced prior compensation paid by Legacy FF that may increase the risk that they may terminate their employment with FF in the near term.
If any of FF’s executive officers or key employees terminates his or her services, FF’s business may be negatively affected. In addition, FF may incur additional expenses to recruit, train and retain qualified personnel. Certain current and former executives of FF adopted a global partnership program to retain, and provide incentives for, certain key management members. However, there is no guarantee that FF will be able to attract other qualified candidates to fill certain positions. The failure to do so may lead to difficulties in effectively executing FF’s business strategies, and its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, if any of FF’s executive officers or key employees joins a competitor or forms a competing company, FF may lose know-how and be poorly positioned in the marketplace.
Unionization activities or labor disputes may disrupt FF’s business and operations and affect its profitability.
Although none of our employees are currently represented by organized labor unions, it is not uncommon for employees at companies in the automobile industry to belong to a union, which can result in higher employee costs and increased risk of work stoppages. Although FF works diligently to provide the best possible work environment for its employees, they could still decide to join or seek representation by organized labor unions, or FF may be required to become a union signatory. FF’s business and operations as well as its profitability could be adversely affected if unionized activities such as work stoppages occur, or if FF becomes involved in labor disputes or other actions filed by labor unions. Any unfavorable outcome in such disputes could create a negative perception of how FF treats its employees.
If FF’s employees were to engage in strikes or other work stoppages, or if third-party strikes or work stoppages cause supply chain interruptions, FF’s business, prospects, operations, financial condition and liquidity could be materially adversely affected.
A strike or work stoppage by FF’s employees or by employees of FF’s outsourcing partners or suppliers could have a material adverse effect on its business, prospects, operations, financial condition and liquidity. Work stoppages at FF’s suppliers may cause supply chain interruptions, which could materially and adversely impact FF’s operations given its limited, and in most cases, single-source supply chain. If a work stoppage occurs, it could delay the manufacture and sale of FF’s products, disrupt its business and operations, or have an adverse effect on FF’s cash flow, all of which could materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
The discovery of defects in vehicles may result in delays in new model launches, recall campaigns or increased warranty costs, which may adversely affect FF’s brand and result in a decrease in the residual value of FF’s vehicles.
FF’s vehicles may contain design and manufacturing defects. The design and manufacturing of FF’s vehicles are complex and could contain latent defects and errors, which may cause its vehicles not to perform or operate as expected or even result in property damage, personal injuries or death. Furthermore, FF’s vehicles use a substantial amount of third-party and in-house software codes and complex hardware to operate. Advanced technologies are inherently complex, and defects and errors may be revealed over time. While FF has performed extensive internal testing on its vehicles and the related software and hardware systems, and will continue this testing and evaluation, FF has a limited frame of reference by which to assess the long-term performance of its vehicles and systems. There can be no assurance that FF will detect or fix the defects in a timely manner.
The discovery of defects in FF’s vehicles may result in delays in new model launches, recall campaigns, product liability claims or increased warranty costs and other expenses, and may decrease the residual values of vehicles that are subject to leasing arrangements. FF might from time to time, voluntarily or involuntarily, initiate vehicle recalls if any of FF’s vehicles, including any systems or parts sourced from suppliers and contractors, prove to be defective or noncompliant with applicable laws and regulations. Such recalls, whether voluntary or involuntary or caused by systems or components engineered or manufactured by FF or by suppliers and contractors, could require that FF incur significant costs relating to logistics and/or repair. All of the foregoing could materially harm FF’s brand image, business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
FF may become subject to product liability claims, which could harm its financial condition and liquidity if FF is not able to successfully defend or insure against such claims.
FF may become subject to product liability claims, which could harm its business, prospects, operating results and financial condition. The automotive industry experiences significant product liability claims, and FF faces the inherent risk of exposure to claims in the event FF’s vehicles do not perform as expected or experience a malfunction that results in property damage, personal injury and/or death. Such claims could divert FF’s financial and other resources and cause disruption to its operations. Furthermore, a successful product liability claim against FF could result in a substantial monetary award while generating significant negative publicity. FF’s insurance coverage might not be sufficient to cover all potential product liability claims.
If FF is sued for infringing or misappropriating intellectual property rights of third parties, litigation could be costly and time consuming and could prevent FF from developing or commercializing its future products.
FF is subject to litigation risks from third parties alleging infringement of their intellectual property, which could be time consuming and costly, regardless of whether the claims have merit. Individuals, organizations and companies, including FF’s competitors, may hold or obtain patents, trademarks and/or other proprietary rights that would prevent, limit or interfere with its ability to make, use, develop, sell and/or market FF’s vehicles or components, and may bring claims alleging FF’s infringement of such rights. If FF is determined to have or believes there is a high likelihood that FF has infringed upon a third party’s intellectual property rights, not only may FF be required to pay substantial damages or settlement costs, but FF may also be required to cease sales of its vehicles, incorporate certain components into its vehicles, or offer vehicles or other goods or services that incorporate or use the challenged intellectual property, seek a license from the holder of the infringed intellectual property rights (which license may not be available on reasonable terms or at all), redesign the vehicles or other goods or services, establish and maintain alternative branding for FF’s products and services, and/or alter FF’s business strategy, all of which could prevent FF from developing or commercializing its vehicles and adversely and materially hamper its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any litigation or claims, whether or not valid, could result in substantial costs, negative publicity, and diversion of resources and management attention.
FF may be subject to damages resulting from claims that FF or its employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets or other intellectual property rights of former employers of FF’s employees.
Many of FF’s employees were previously employed by other automotive companies or by suppliers to automotive companies. FF may be subject to claims that it or these employees have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If FF fails in defending such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, it may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. A loss of key personnel or their work product could hamper or prevent FF’s ability to commercialize its products, which could severely harm FF’s business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Even if FF is successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs, negative publicity and demand on management resources, which would materially adversely affect its business, prospects, brand, financial condition and results of operations.
FF has elected to protect some of its technologies as trade secrets rather than as patents, however, this approach has certain risks and disadvantages.
FF has elected to protect many of its technological developments as trade secrets rather than filing patent applications on them. If another person has filed or files in the future a patent application on the same subject invention FF may be precluded from subsequently filing for its own patent on such invention. In addition, if the other person’s patent application is granted, FF’s continued use of its technological development could then constitute infringement of the other person’s patent. In that case FF could be forced to stop using the affected technology or to pay royalties to continue using it. These risks are heightened for FF given the large number of patent filings in the industry.
Another risk of reliance upon trade secret protection is that there is no guarantee that the efforts FF has made to keep its trade secrets secret will be successful. Trade secrets may be taken or used without FF’s authorization or knowledge, including via information security breaches. It is difficult to detect that trade secrets are being misappropriated, and it is very difficult and expensive to prove disclosure or unauthorized use in court and to obtain an adequate remedy.
FF is dependent upon its proprietary intellectual properties.
FF considers its copyrights, trademarks, trade names, internet domain names, patents and other intellectual property assets invaluable to its ability to develop and protect new technology, grow its business and enhance FF’s brand recognition. FF has invested significant resources to develop its intellectual property assets. Failure to successfully maintain or protect these assets could harm FF’s business. The steps FF has taken to protect its intellectual property rights may not be adequate or prevent theft and use of its trade secrets by others or prevent competitors from copying its newly developed technology. If FF is unable to protect its proprietary rights or if third parties independently develop or gain access to similar technology, FF’s business, revenue, reputation and competitive position could be harmed. For example, the measures FF takes to protect its intellectual property from unauthorized use by others may not be effective for various reasons, including the following:
•any patent applications FF submits may not result in the issuance of patents;
•the scope of FF’s issued patents may not be broad enough to protect its proprietary rights;
•FF’s issued patents may be challenged and/or invalidated by its competitors or others;
•the costs associated with enforcing patents, confidentiality and invention agreements and/or other intellectual property rights may make aggressive enforcement impracticable;
•current and future competitors may circumvent FF’s patents;
•FF’s in-licensed patents may be invalidated, or the owners of these patents may breach their license arrangements; and
•even if FF obtains a favorable outcome in litigation asserting its rights, FF may not be able to obtain an adequate remedy, especially in the context of unauthorized persons copying or reverse engineering FF’s products or technology.
FF may need to resort to litigation to enforce its intellectual property rights if its intellectual property rights are infringed or misappropriated, which could be costly and time consuming. Additionally, protection of FF’s intellectual property rights in different jurisdictions may vary in their effectiveness. FF has little patent coverage anywhere in the world except the United States and China. Implementation and enforcement of Chinese intellectual property-related laws historically has been considered to be deficient and ineffective. Moreover, with FF’s ownership of patents limited mostly to those issued in China and the United States, FF may find it impossible to prevent competitors from copying its patented advancements in vehicles manufactured and sold elsewhere.
Despite FF’s efforts to protect its proprietary rights, third parties may still attempt to copy or otherwise obtain and use its intellectual property or seek court declarations that such third parties’ intellectual property does not infringe upon FF’s intellectual property rights, or they may be able to independently develop technologies that are the same as or similar to FF’s technologies.
FF may not be able to obtain patent protection on certain of its technological developments, and may face better-funded competitors with formidable patent portfolios.
FF may not be able to obtain patent protection for certain of its technological developments because some of its existing applications were abandoned and applicable filing deadlines for seeking to protect such technologies may have passed in the United States and around the world. Also, FF has elected to protect some of its technologies as trade secrets rather than as patents. However, this approach risks the wrongful disclosure and use of FF’s trade secrets by departing employees and others. FF has delayed filing for patent protection on certain of its technological developments in recent years due to financial constraints. Because patents are granted on a first-to-file basis, a delay in patent filings, such as this, can result in other companies filing for and obtaining the same inventions either independently derived or otherwise. In addition, inventions not subject to an earlier filing date as disclosed in an active application can result in FF’s inventions or patents being “blocked” by prior art in the meantime. The consequences of the filing delays could place FF at a disadvantage relative to competitors that have been continuously more active in filing patent applications and could leave FF unable to protect its technologies that differentiate FF’s vehicles from the vehicles of its competitors. FF also faces better-funded competitors with formidable patent portfolios and there can be no guarantee that one or more competitors has not and/or will not obtain patent protection on features necessary to implement in FF’s vehicles.
FF is subject to stringent and changing laws, regulations, standards and contractual obligations related to data privacy and security, and FF’s actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could harm its reputation, subject it to significant fines and liability, or otherwise adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
FF plans to permit certain of its business partners to collect, process, store, and in some cases transfer across borders, personally identifiable information concerning the drivers and passengers of FF’s vehicles. Such information may include among other things faces, names, geolocation information, payment data, and preferences. Although FF has adopted security policies and measures, including technology, to protect its customer information and other proprietary data, it may be required to expend significant resources to comply with data breach requirements if third parties improperly obtain and use personal information of FF’s customers or FF otherwise experiences a data loss with respect to its customers’ personal information.
FF plans to operate on a global basis, and thus FF will face a significant burden to comply with data privacy and information security laws and regulations in the United States, the State of California, China, Europe, and the rest of the world. Although FF endeavors to comply with all such laws and regulations, as well as FF’s own policies and obligations under contracts with third parties, FF may at times fail to do so or be alleged to have failed to do so. Any failure or perceived failure by FF to comply with such laws, regulations, policies, and obligations in one or more jurisdictions could expose FF to litigation, awards, fines or judgments, civil and/or criminal penalties or negative publicity, and could adversely affect FF’s business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The global regulatory framework governing the collection, processing, storage, use and sharing of personal information, is rapidly evolving and is likely to continue to be subject to uncertainty and varying interpretations. In the United States, certain state laws may be more stringent or broader in scope, or offer greater individual rights, with respect to sensitive and personal information than federal, international or other state laws, and such laws may differ from each other, which may complicate compliance efforts. For example, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) which went into effect in January 2020 and became enforceable by the California Attorney General in July 2020, and which, among other things, requires companies covered by the legislation to provide new disclosures to California consumers and afford such consumers new rights of access and deletion for personal information, as well as the right to opt out of certain sales of personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for certain data breaches that result in the loss of personal information. This private right of action may increase the likelihood of, and risks associated with, data breach litigation. Additionally, a new California ballot initiative, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) was passed in November 2020. Effective starting on January 1, 2023, the CPRA imposes additional obligations on companies covered by the legislation and will significantly modify the CCPA, including by expanding consumers’ rights with respect to certain sensitive personal information. The CPRA also creates a new state agency that will be vested with authority to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA. The effects of the CCPA and the CPRA are potentially significant and may require FF to modify its data collection or processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses in an effort to comply and increase our potential exposure to regulatory enforcement and/or litigation. Internationally, many jurisdictions have established their own data security and privacy legal framework with which FF or its clients may need to
comply, including, but not limited to, the European Union, or EU. The EU’s data protection landscape is currently unstable, resulting in possible significant operational costs for internal compliance and risk to FF’s business. In China, the Personal Information Protection Law was passed on August 20, 2021 and took effect on November 1, 2021, imposing restrictions on entities that collect and process personal data and sensitive information about subjects in China.
Failure by FF, whether actual or perceived, to comply with federal, state or international privacy, data protection or security laws or regulations could result in regulatory or litigation-related actions against FF, legal liability, fines, damages and other costs, and could adversely affect its business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
FF is subject to cybersecurity risks relating to its various systems and software, or that of any third party that FF relies upon, and any failure, cyber event or breach of security could prevent FF from effectively operating its business, harm its reputation or subject FF to significant liability.
FF and the business partners storing its data are routinely subject to cybersecurity threats and attacks. Information security risks have increased in recent years in part because of the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, hackers, terrorists, state-sponsored actors, and other external parties. FF’s vehicles contain complex IT systems and software to support interactive and other functions. FF maintains policies, procedures and technological safeguards and has implemented policy, procedural, technical, physical and administrative controls intended to prevent unauthorized access to its IT networks and vehicles’ systems. However, unauthorized persons may attempt to gain unauthorized access to modify, alter, insert malicious code and use such networks and systems. In the event FF’s or FF business partners’ data system protection efforts are unsuccessful and such systems or the data systems of vehicles are compromised, FF could suffer substantial harm. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine may increase the risk of cyber attacks.
FF cannot entirely eliminate the risk of improper or unauthorized access to or disclosure of data or personal information, other security events that impact the integrity or availability of FF’s data systems and operations, or the related costs FF may incur to mitigate the consequences from such events. Additionally, FF cannot guarantee that its insurance coverage would be sufficient to cover all losses. Moreover, FF has limited control over and limited ability to monitor FF’s third-party business partners that collect, store, and process information, including personally identifiable information, on FF’s behalf. They and their systems could be the subject of cyberattacks, just as FF could, and they may or may not put into practice the policies and safeguards they should in order to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and their contractual obligations to FF. A vulnerability in a third-party business partner’s software or systems, a failure of FF’s third-party business partner’s safeguards, policies or procedures, or a breach of a third-party business provider’s software or systems could result in the compromise of the confidentiality, integrity or availability of FF’s systems or vehicles or the data stored by FF’s business partners.
To the extent that FF’s vehicles are commercialized, there can be no assurance that these vulnerabilities related to FF’s systems and software will not be exploited in the future before they can be identified, or that FF’s remediation efforts will be successful. A major breach of FF’s network security and systems could have negative consequences for its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation including possible fines, penalties and damages, reduced customer demand for FF’s vehicles and harm to its reputation and brand. Any cyberattacks, unauthorized access, disruption, damage or control of FF’s IT networks and systems or any loss or leakage of data or information stored in its systems could result in disruption of FF’s operations and legal claims or proceedings. In addition, regardless of their veracity, reports of cyberattacks to our networks, systems or data, as well as other factors that may result in the perception that FF’s networks, systems or data are vulnerable to “hacking,” could further negatively affect FF’s brand and harm its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation.
FF may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for its vehicles.
Motor vehicles are subject to substantial regulation under international, federal, state and local laws. Vehicles produced by FF will be required to comply with the applicable safety, product and other standards and regulations in FF’s targeted markets. For example, FF’s vehicles in the United States will be subject to numerous regulatory requirements established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), including all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSS”). Rigorous testing and the use of approved materials and equipment are among the requirements for achieving federal certification. In addition, FF’s vehicles sold in China must pass various tests and undergo a certification process and be affixed with the China Compulsory Certification (“CCC”), before delivery from the factory and sale, and such certification is also subject to periodic renewal. FF may fail to obtain or renew the required certification or regulatory approval for its vehicles, which may prevent FF from delivering, selling and/or importing/exporting its vehicles, and therefore materially and adversely affect its business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
FF and its manufacturing partners may be subject to increased environmental and safety or other regulations and disclosure rules resulting in higher costs, cash expenditures, and/or sales restrictions.
As a manufacturing company, including with respect to FF’s current Hanford, California facility, its future facility with a third-party manufacturer in South Korea and other potential contract manufacturing options, and its proposed joint venture in China, FF and its manufacturing partners are or will be subject to complex environmental, manufacturing, health and safety laws and regulations at numerous jurisdictional levels in the U.S., South Korea and other locations where they may expand operations, including laws relating to the use, handling, storage, recycling, disposal and human exposure to hazardous materials and relating to the construction, expansion and maintenance of their facilities. Evolving disclosure rules on environmental
matters may also entail additional compliance and reporting costs, including, for instance, the new climate change reporting rules proposed by the SEC which are expected to come into effect over the next three years.
The costs of compliance, including remediating contamination if any is found on FF or its manufacturing partner’s properties, and any changes to their operations mandated by new or amended laws, may be significant. FF and/or its manufacturing partners may be required to incur additional costs to comply with any changes to such regulations, and any failures to comply could result in significant expenses, delays or fines. FF and its manufacturing partners will be subject to laws, regulations and standards applicable to the supply, manufacture, import, sale and service of automobiles in different jurisdictions and relating to vehicle safety, fuel economy and emissions, among other things, in different jurisdictions which often may be materially different from each other. As a result, FF and/or its manufacturing partners may need to make additional investments in the applicable vehicles and systems to ensure regulatory compliance.
Additionally, there is a variety of international, federal and state regulations that may apply to autonomous vehicles, which include many existing vehicle standards that were not originally intended to apply to vehicles that may not have a driver. For example, there are currently no federal U.S. regulations pertaining to the safety of autonomous vehicles; however, NHTSA has established recommended guidelines. Certain states have legal restrictions on autonomous vehicles, and many other states are considering them. Such regulations continue to rapidly change, which increases the likelihood of a patchwork of complex or conflicting regulations. This could result in higher costs and cash expenditures, or may delay products or restrict self-driving features and availability, any of which could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation.
FF may be subject to anti-corruption, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, economic sanctions and other similar laws and regulations, and non-compliance with such laws and regulations could subject FF to civil, criminal and administrative penalties, remedial measures and legal expenses, all of which could adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition and reputation.
FF is or will be subject to laws with respect to anti-corruption, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, financial and economic sanctions and other similar laws and regulations in various jurisdictions in which FF conducts, or in the future may conduct, activities, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and other anti-corruption laws and regulations. The FCPA prohibits FF and its officers, directors, employees and business partners acting on its behalf, including agents, from offering, promising, authorizing or providing anything of value to a “foreign official” for the purposes of influencing official decisions or obtaining or retaining business or otherwise obtaining favorable treatment. The FCPA also requires companies to make and keep books, records and accounts that accurately reflect transactions and dispositions of assets and to maintain a system of adequate internal accounting controls. A violation of these laws or regulations could adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition and reputation.
FF’s policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with these regulations may not be sufficient, and its directors, officers, employees, representatives, consultants, agents, and business partners could engage in improper conduct for which FF may be held responsible. Non-compliance with anti-corruption, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering or financial and economic sanctions laws could subject FF to adverse media coverage, investigations, and severe administrative, civil and criminal sanctions, collateral consequences, remedial measures and legal expenses, all of which could materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition and reputation.
Increases in costs, disruption of supply or shortage of materials used to manufacture FF’s vehicles, in particular for lithium-ion cells or electronic components, could harm its business.
FF incurs significant costs related to procuring components and raw materials required to manufacture its vehicles. FF may experience cost increases, supply disruption and/or shortages relating to components and raw materials, which could materially and adversely impact its business, prospects, financial condition and operating results. FF uses various components and raw materials in its business, such as steel, aluminum, and lithium battery cells. The prices for these materials fluctuate, and their available supply may be unstable, depending on market conditions and global demand for these materials, including as a
result of increased production of electric vehicles by FF’s competitors, as well as unforeseeable events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
For instance, FF is exposed to multiple risks relating to lithium battery cells or electronic components, including but not limited to: (i) an increase in the cost, or decrease in the available supply, of materials used in the battery cells, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese; (ii) disruption in the supply of battery cells or electronic components due to quality issues or recalls by battery cell or electronic component manufacturers; and (iii) the inability or unwillingness of FF’s current battery cell or electronic component manufacturers to build or operate battery cell or electronic components manufacturing plants to supply the numbers of lithium cells or electronic components required to support the growth of the electric vehicle industry as demand for such battery cells or electronic components increases.
FF’s business is dependent on the continued supply of battery cells for the battery packs used in its vehicles and other electronic components. While FF believes several sources of the battery cells are available for such battery packs, it has to date fully qualified only one supplier for the battery cells used in such battery packs and have very limited flexibility in changing battery cell suppliers. Additionally, FF has not approved secondary sources for the key sourced components used in FF 91. Any disruption in the supply of battery cells or electronic components from such suppliers could disrupt production of FF’s vehicles until such time as a different supplier is fully qualified. There can be no assurance that FF would be able to successfully retain alternative suppliers on a timely basis, on acceptable terms or at all.
Furthermore, tariffs or shortages in petroleum and other economic conditions may result in significant increases in freight charges and material costs. In addition, a growth in popularity of electric vehicles without a significant expansion in battery cell production capacity could result in shortages which would result in increased materials costs to FF negatively impact its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. Substantial increases in the prices for FF’s raw materials or components would increase its operating costs, and could reduce the margins if FF cannot recoup the increased costs through increased vehicle prices. Any attempts to increase product prices in response to increased material costs could result in a decrease in sales and therefore materially and adversely affect FF’s brand, business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
FF may be subject to risks associated with autonomous driving technology.
FF 91 is designed with autonomous driving functionalities and FF plans to continue its research and development efforts in autonomous driving technology. However, such functionality is relatively new and poses risks, such as from defective software performance or unauthorized access or security attacks by other persons. The safety of such technologies also depends in part on user interaction, and users may not be accustomed to using such technologies. Such failures could lead to accidents, injury and death. For example, there have already been fatal accidents caused by autonomous driving vehicles developed by other leading market players. Any accidents involving self-driving vehicles — even if involving those of FF’s competitors — may result in lawsuits, liability and negative publicity and increase calls for more restrictive laws and regulations governing self-driving vehicles or to keep in place laws and regulations in locations that do not permit drivers to employ the self-driving functionality. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect FF’s business, results of operations, financial condition, reputation and prospects.
Autonomous driving technology is also subject to considerable regulatory uncertainty as the law evolves to catch up with the rapidly evolving nature of the technology itself, all of which are beyond FF’s control. Also see “FF and its manufacturing partners may be subject to increased environmental and safety or other regulation resulting in higher costs, cash expenditures, and/or sales restrictions.”
Developments in new energy technology or improvements in the fuel economy of internal combustion engines or significant reduction in gas prices may materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation.
Significant developments in alternative technologies, such as advanced diesel, ethanol, or compressed natural gas or improvements in the fuel economy of the internal combustion engine or significant reduction in gas prices may materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation in ways FF does not currently anticipate. Other fuels or sources of energy, such as hydrogen fuel cells, may emerge as customers’ preferred alternative to battery electric vehicles. FF is currently a pure battery electric vehicle company. Any failure by FF to develop new or enhanced technologies or processes, or to react to changes in existing technologies or consumer preferences, could result in the loss of competitiveness of FF’s vehicles, decreased revenue and a loss of market share to competitors.
FF’s vehicles will make use of lithium-ion battery cells, which have been observed to catch fire or vent smoke and flame.
FF’s vehicles will make use of lithium-ion battery cells. It has been reported that on rare occasions, lithium-ion cells can rapidly release the energy they store by venting smoke and flames in a manner that can ignite nearby materials as well as other lithium-ion cells. While the FF battery pack has been designed with the management system and thermal event alarming system which can actively and continuously monitor each cell voltage and also the battery pack temperature and pressure condition to prevent such incidents, a field or testing failure of our vehicles or battery packs could occur, which could subject FF to product liability claims, product recalls, or redesign efforts, and lead to negative publicity. Moreover, any failure of a competitor’s electric vehicle or energy storage product may cause indirect adverse publicity for FF and FF’s products.
In addition, FF will need to store a significant number of lithium-ion cells at its facilities. Any mishandling of battery cells may cause disruption to business operations and cause damage and injuries.
FF may not be able to guarantee customers access to efficient, economical and comprehensive charging solutions.
FF has not built any commercial charging infrastructure, and FF’s customers will have to rely on private and publicly accessible charging infrastructure, which is generally considered to be insufficient, especially in China. FF may not have competitive advantages in terms of proprietary charging infrastructure or holistic charging solutions. Some competitors may provide charging services via self-owned charging infrastructure, battery swapping and charging vehicles, which FF may not be able to deliver.
The charging services FF may provide could fail to meet the expectations and demands of FF’s customers, who may lose confidence in FF and its vehicles. This may also deter potential customers from purchasing FF’s vehicles. In addition, even if FF has the ability and plan to build its own charging infrastructure, it may not be cost-effective and FF may face difficulties in finding proper locations and obtaining relevant government permits and approvals. To the extent FF is unable to meet its customers’ expectations or demand, or faces difficulties in developing efficient, economical and comprehensive charging solutions, FF’s reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
FF will face risks associated with international operations, including possible unfavorable regulatory, political, currency, tax and labor conditions, which could harm its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
FF has a global footprint with domestic and international operations and subsidiaries. Accordingly, FF is subject to a variety of legal, political and regulatory requirements and social, environmental and economic conditions over which FF has little control. For example, FF may be impacted by trade policies, environmental conditions, political uncertainty and economic cycles involving the United States and China, which are inherently unpredictable. FF is subject to a number of risks particularly associated with international business activities that may increase FF’s costs, impact its ability to sell vehicles and require significant management attention. These risks include conforming FF’s vehicles to various international regulatory and safety requirements as well as charging and other electric infrastructures, organizing local operating entities, difficulty in establishing, staffing and managing foreign operations, challenges in attracting customers, hedging against foreign exchange risk, compliance with foreign labor laws and restrictions, and foreign government taxes, regulations and permit requirements, FF’s ability to enforce its contractual rights, trade restrictions, customs regulations, tariffs and price or exchange controls, and preferences of foreign nations for domestically manufactured products. If FF does not sufficiently address any of these challenges, its business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
FF might not obtain and maintain sufficient insurance coverage, which could expose FF to significant costs and business disruption.
To the extent FF commercializes its vehicles, FF may only obtain and maintain a limited liability insurance coverage for its products and business operations. A successful liability claim against FF due to injuries suffered by the users of its vehicles or services could materially and adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and reputation. In addition, FF does not have any business disruption insurance. Any business disruption event could result in substantial cost and diversion of resources.
Government financial support, incentives and policies for electric vehicles are subject to change. Discontinuation of any of the government subsidies or imposition of any additional taxes or surcharges could adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Government financial support and subsidies are critical to electric vehicle sales and changing consumer behaviors. Any reduction, discontinuation, elimination or discriminatory application of government financial support, subsidies and economic incentives because of policy changes, fiscal tightening, or the perceived success of electric vehicles or other reasons may result in the diminished competitiveness of the electric vehicle industry generally or FF’s electric vehicles in particular. Competitors who have already rolled out their electric vehicles before the phase-out or discontinuation of these incentives may be able to
expand their customer base more effectively, which could place FF at a competitive disadvantage. While certain tax credits and other incentives for alternative energy production, alternative fuel and electric vehicles have been available in the past, there is no guarantee that these programs will be available in the future. If current tax incentives are not available in the future, or if additional taxes or surcharges are imposed, FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed.
FF may engage in direct-to-consumer leasing or financing arrangements in the future which will expose FF to credit, compliance and residual value risks, the failure of which to manage may materially harm FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation.
FF expects the availability of financing or leasing programs to be important for its potential customers and may offer financing or leasing arrangements for its vehicles or collaborate with third parties to provide such arrangements in the future. However, FF may not be able to obtain adequate funding for its future financing or leasing programs or offer terms acceptable to potential customers. If FF is unable to provide compelling financing or leasing arrangements for its vehicles, it may be unable to grow the vehicle orders and deliveries, which could materially and adversely harm FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, if FF does not successfully monitor and comply with applicable national, state, and/or local consumer protection laws and regulations governing these transactions, FF may become subject to enforcement actions or penalties, either of which may harm its business and reputation.
Moreover, offering leasing or financing arrangements will expose FF to risks commonly associated with the extension of credit. Credit risk is the potential loss that may arise from any failure in the ability or willingness of the customer to fulfil its contractual obligations when they fall due. In the event of a widespread economic downturn or other catastrophic event, FF’s customers may be unable or unwilling to satisfy their payment obligations on a timely basis or at all. Moreover, competitive pressure and challenging markets may increase credit risk through loans and leases to financially weak customers and extended payment terms. If a significant number of FF’s customers default, FF may incur credit losses and/or have to recognize impairment charges with respect to the underlying assets, which may be substantial. Any such credit losses and/or impairment charges could adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, operating results or financial condition.
Further, in lease arrangements, the profitability of any vehicles returned to FF at the end of their leases depends on FF’s ability to accurately project such vehicles’ residual values at the outset of the leases, and such values may fluctuate prior to the end of their terms depending on various factors such as supply and demand of FF’s used vehicles, economic cycles, and the pricing of new vehicles. FF may incur substantial losses if its vehicles’ fair market value deteriorates faster than projected.
FF’s founder, Mr. Yueting Jia (YT Jia), is closely associated with the image and brand of FF. Circumstances affecting YT Jia’s reputation, and investor and public perception of his role and influence in FF, may shape FF’s brand and ability to do business. Additionally, YT Jia may continue to be subject to certain restrictions in China if not all creditors participating in YT Jia’s restructuring plan comply with the requirement to request removal of YT Jia from such restrictions.
FF’s founder, Mr. YT Jia, has previously been the subject of negative press related to his debts and has had, and in the future may have significant influence over FF’s management and operations. In December 2019, YT Jia was also determined by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange of China to be unsuitable for a position as director, supervisor or executive officer of public listed companies in China as a result of violation by Leshi Information Technology Co., Ltd. (“LeTV”), a public company founded and controlled by YT Jia in China, of several listing rules of Shenzhen Stock Exchange, including procedural non-compliance for the provision of funding and guarantees by LeTV to other affiliated companies founded by YT Jia, discrepancies in LeTV’s forecast and financials, and procedurally improper use of proceeds from LeTV’s public offering. Additionally, as the controlling shareholder and the former chairman of LeTV, YT Jia, received a notice from China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) in April 2021 notifying the CSRC’s decision to impose an administrative fine of CNY 241.2 million and a permanent ban from entry into the securities market on YT Jia as a result of LeTV’s misrepresentation in the registration document of its initial public offering and its financial statements, fraud in connection with a private placement, and other violations of securities law and listing requirements. In January 2021, YT Jia, as the former executive director and chairman of Coolpad Group Limited (SEHK: 2369) (“Coolpad”) received a decision from the Listing Committee of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “HKSE Listing Committee”) that YT Jia and another former executive director of Coolpad had breached their undertakings to the HKSE Listing Committee in connection with Coolpad’s failure to comply with the Hong Kong listing rules requirement to timely announce certain disclosable transactions (such as advancement of money, provision of financial assistance, or certain related party transactions) and timely publish its financial results. HKSE Listing Committee determined that YT Jia’s retention of office on the board of Coolpad would have been prejudicial to the interests of investors. YT Jia appealed the decision on January 15, 2021. The appeal was denied on July 22, 2021. In addition, YT Jia was also sued in a securities market misrepresentation litigation before the Beijing Financial Court (the “Litigation”) in May 2021.
The Litigation is in relation to the alleged misrepresentation made by LeTV. Three representatives acting on behalf of two thousand investors, claim damages to the investors in a total amount of RMB 4,571,777,814.99 due to LeTV’s alleged misrepresentation. The lawsuit names 24 defendants, including LeTV, YT Jia, other former directors, supervisors, executives of LeTV and the agencies which provided services for LeTV’s IPO or listing, claiming they are jointly liable. The court has held two pre-hearing meetings for the parties to exchange their evidence and present their examination and cross-examination opinions. The judgment of the Litigation is yet to be handed down by the Beijing Financial Court.
As the Founder and the Chief Product and User Ecosystem Officer of FF, YT Jia’s image will be closely associated with its brand. The media’s focus on negative coverage could materially and adversely affect FF’s valuation and investors’ confidence. Such negative publicity could also solicit inquiries from securities regulatory bodies in the relevant jurisdictions where FF does business. While YT Jia completed a Chapter 11 restructuring plan with respect to his personal debts and claims in June 2020 and received a discharge order on March 4, 2021 with an effective discharge date as of February 3, 2021, according to which all distributions, rights, and treatment that are provided in the plan will be in exchange for, and in complete satisfaction, settlement, discharge, and release of, all claims against the debtor of any nature whatsoever, whether known or unknown, or against the assets or properties of YT Jia that arose before the discharge date, there is no assurance that such negative publicity, although not directly related to FF, would not adversely affect FF’s business, prospects, brand, financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, as a condition for the creditors to receive distribution from the trust established as part of the restructuring plan, creditors are required to request Chinese Courts to remove YT Jia from the list of dishonest judgment debtors (“China Debtor List”) and lift any consumption or travel restrictions (“China Restrictions”) that are currently imposed on YT Jia by the Chinese courts. As of May 6, 2022, creditors of more than 80% of the total allowed claims in the restructuring plan submitted such a request to the Chinese courts. However, there may be risks that other holders who had not yet submitted such a request would not submit the request or that the Chinese courts do not approve such a request. If YT Jia cannot be removed from such restrictions, he will not be able to make certain purchases or actions deemed as “high consumption” which will nevertheless be necessary for him to work in China, such as taking a plane. If YT Jia cannot be removed from the China Debtor List, in addition to the restriction related to purchases or actions deemed as “high consumption”, he cannot be a director, supervisor or other executive officer of the Company in China.
FF Global, which is governed by an executive committee consisting of eight members, may exert influence over the management of FF through its issuance of equity interests as additional compensation to the management of FF.
As described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Partnership Program,” certain current and former executives of FF established a partnership program (the “Partnership Program”) through FF Global Partners LLC (“FF Global”) in July 2019. FF Global controls Pacific Technology Holding LLC, which indirectly holds approximately 36.2% of FF’s outstanding voting power on a fully-diluted basis as of the date hereof. The members and managers of FF Global are treated as “partners” or “preparatory partners” from FF Global’s internal governance perspective. FF Global is managed by its board of managers (the “FF Global Board”), which currently consists of eight managers — YT Jia, Matthias Aydt, Jiawei Wang, Tin Mok, Prashant Gulati, Chaoying Deng, Philip Bethell and Dr. Carsten Breitfeld. A majority of the managers (excluding Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, who does not yet have voting rights because he has not met the tenure eligibility requirement and once he satisfies the tenure requirement in September 2022, subject to election by the partners of FF Global, he might become a voting manager) present at a meeting of the FF Global Board where there a quorum is required to approve any material actions of FF Global (“Reserved Matters”), including relating to the voting and disposition of shares of FFIE held by FF Top and indirectly owned by FF Global. In the event of a tie at any meeting of the FF Global Board, the manager designated by Chaoying Deng as the managing partner has a casting vote. Except for the Reserved Matters, management of FF Global has been delegated to the managing partner for efficient management. Based on our investigation, we believe that YT Jia has significant influence over and may control the outcome of any actions taken by the FF Global Board through a series of familial and personal relationships that he has with the other managers on the FF Global Board. The managers, except for Chaoying Deng, are nominated by the partners of FF Global from the existing partners that satisfy certain qualifications and are elected by all partners by plurality voting according to the policies and procedures adopted by the committee. In addition, the creditors’ trust from YT Jia’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy has a substantial preferred economic interest in Pacific Technology Holding LLC and has observatory rights on the FF Global Board.
FF Global may issue units to members of FF management and FF employees as additional incentives to attract and retain talent of FF and FF Global. The decisions on the issuance of FF Global units to FF management and employees are made by the FF Global Board, which consists of voting members that are not the NEOs and different from the members of the Compensation Committee of the FF Board of Directors. Certain of FF’s current management (including most of the executive officers of FF) and other FF employees participate in the Partnership Program as members in FF Global, and are required to report certain events related to their interests in FF Global to FF pursuant to its Insider Investment Reporting Policy. By controlling the decision making regarding additional incentives to be granted to the management and employees of FF, FF
Global and its board of managers may exert influence over the management of FF outside the purview or control of FF’s Board of Directors. FF Global’s interests may conflict with the interests of FF. FF Global may also initiate shareholder litigation against FF through indirect equity holdings for purposes of influencing FF and/or removing certain officers and directors of FF.
FF is subject to legal proceedings and claims arising in the ordinary course of business.
In addition to the shareholder class action and derivative matters discussed above, FF has been and continues to be involved in legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of FF’s business. Outcome of any litigation is inherently uncertain. FF evaluates these claims and litigation proceedings to assess the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes and to estimate, if possible, the amount of potential losses. Based on these assessments and estimates, FF may establish reserves, as appropriate. Further, in the course of its operations, FF has been involved in litigation with contractors and suppliers over its past due payments. Although FF has been making efforts to settle these disputes, including establishing a vendor trust secured by certain of FF’s assets in April 2019, there are two active legal proceedings pending in connection therewith as of the date hereof in the United States. FF’s PRC Subsidiaries are involved in 32 proceedings or disputes in which the PRC Subsidiaries are defendants and one dispute in which a PRC entity is a plaintiff and has received a prevailing judgment. Substantially all of the claims arose out of those subsidiaries’ ordinary course of business, involving lease contracts, third-party suppliers or vendors, or labor disputes. The amounts claimed by the parties in the disputes involving FF’s PRC Subsidiaries, and accrued penalties thereof, are approximately $9.5 million. If one or more of those legal matters were resolved against FF in a reporting period for amounts above management’s expectations, FF’s business prospects, financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected. Additionally, FF Global, an indirect shareholder of FF, has threatened to initiate shareholder litigation against FF for purposes of changing the management of FF.
Further, regardless of whether the results of the legal proceedings are favorable to FF, they could still result in substantial costs, negative publicity and diversion of resources and management attention, which could materially affect FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. The results of litigation and other legal proceedings are inherently uncertain, and adverse judgments or settlements in some of these legal disputes may result in adverse monetary damages, penalties or injunctive relief against FF, which could negatively impact its financial position, cash flows or results of operations. Any claims or litigation, even if fully indemnified or insured, could damage FF’s reputation and make it more difficult to compete effectively or to obtain adequate insurance in the future.
Furthermore, while FF maintains insurance for certain potential liabilities, such insurance does not cover all types and amounts of potential liabilities and is subject to various exclusions as well as retentions and caps on amounts recoverable. Even if FF believes a claim is covered by insurance, insurers may dispute our entitlement to recovery for a variety of potential reasons, which may affect the timing and, if the insurers prevail, the amount of FF’s recovery.
Risks Related to FF’s Operations in China
FF faces various economic, operational and legal risks specific to China because of our corporate structure, our current operations in China and our plan to have significant operations in the future in China and in Hong Kong (which is subject to political and economic influence from China), including the following:
Changes in the political and economic policies of the PRC government may materially and adversely affect FF’s business, financial condition and results of operations and may result in our inability to sustain our growth and expansion strategies.
As part of FF’s dual-market strategy, substantial aspects of its business and operations may be based in China in the future, which will increase FF’s sensitivity to the economic, operational and legal risks specific to China. For example, China’s economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many aspects, including, but not limited to, the degree of government involvement, level of corruption, control of capital investment, reinvestment control of foreign exchange, control of intellectual property, allocation of resources, growth rate and development level. Although the PRC government has implemented measures since the late 1970s emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, including the reduction of state ownership of productive assets, and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, which are generally viewed as a positive development for foreign business investment, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the PRC government. In addition, the PRC government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The PRC government also exercises significant control over the PRC economic growth through allocating resources, controlling payments of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy, and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.
While China’s economy has experienced significant growth over the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy, and the rate of growth has been slowing down, particularly in view of the effects of government actions to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in significant closures of
businesses during the pandemic. Some of the governmental measures may benefit the overall Chinese economy, but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations. Higher inflation could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, certain operating costs and expenses, such as employee compensation and office operating expenses, may increase as a result of higher inflation. In addition, the PRC government has implemented in the past certain measures to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity, which in turn could lead to a reduction in demand for our products and services, and consequently have a material adverse effect on our businesses, financial condition and results of operations.
It is unclear whether and how FF’s current or future business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations may be affected by changes in China’s economic, political and social conditions and in its laws, regulations and policies. In addition, many of the economic reforms carried out by the Chinese government are unprecedented or experimental and are expected to be refined and improved over time. This refining and improving process may not necessarily have a positive effect on FF’s operations and business development.
Uncertainties with respect to the Chinese legal system, regulations and enforcement policies could have a material adverse effect on FF.
FF’s operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. As the PRC legal system continues to rapidly evolve, the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules are not always uniform and enforcement of these laws, regulations and rules involve uncertainties. In addition, any new PRC laws or changes in PRC laws and regulations related to, among other things, foreign investment and manufacturing in China could have a material adverse effect on our business and our ability to operate our business in China.
From time to time, our PRC Subsidiaries may have to resort to administrative and court proceedings to enforce our legal rights. However, since PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy than in more developed legal systems. Furthermore, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules (some of which are not published in a timely manner or at all) that may have retroactive effect. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation of these policies and rules until sometime after the violation. Such uncertainties, including uncertainty over the scope and effect of our contractual, property (including intellectual property) and procedural rights, and any failure to respond to changes in the regulatory environment in China could materially and adversely affect our business, impede our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations and reduce the value of your investment in FF.
Recently, the General Office of the State Council and another PRC authority jointly issued the “Opinions on Severely Cracking Down on Illegal Securities Activities According to Law” (the “Opinions”), which was promulgated on July 6, 2021. The Opinions emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities, the need to strengthen the supervision over overseas listings by PRC-based companies and the need to revise the special provisions of the State Council on overseas issuance and listing of shares by those companies. Effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems will be taken to deal with the risks and incidents of PRC-based companies, and cybersecurity, data security, privacy protection requirements and similar matters. If the CSRC or other regulatory agencies later promulgate new rules or explanations requiring that we obtain their approvals for any additional offering, we may be unable to obtain such approvals which could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to raise additional capital.
Furthermore, the PRC government may strengthen oversight and control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in issuers with substantial operations in China, like us. Such actions taken by the PRC government may intervene or influence our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations at any time, which are beyond our control. Therefore, any such action may adversely affect our operations and significantly limit or hinder our ability to raise additional capital and reduce the value of our securities.
Uncertainties regarding the enforcement of laws and the fact that rules and regulations in China can change quickly with little advance notice, along with the risk that the Chinese government may intervene or influence our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations at any time, or may exert more control over offerings conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in issuers with substantial operations in China could result in a material change in our operations or financial performance and/or could result in a material reduction in the value of our Class A Common Stock and Warrants or hinder our ability to raise necessary capital.
Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in foreign currency exchange losses to us and may reduce the value of, and amount in U.S. Dollars of dividends payable on, our Common Stock in foreign currency terms.
The value of the CNY against the U.S. dollar and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions and the foreign exchange policy adopted by the PRC government. In August 2015, the People’s Bank of China (the “PBOC”), changed the way it calculates the mid-point price of the CNY against the U.S. dollar, requiring the market-makers who submit for reference rates to consider the previous day’s closing spot rate, foreign-exchange demand and supply as well as changes in major currency rates. In 2018, the value of CNY appreciated by approximately 5.5% against the U.S. dollar; and in 2019, the CNY appreciated by approximately 1.9% against the U.S. dollar. It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy, including any interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, may impact the exchange rate between the CNY and the U.S. dollar in the future. There remains significant international pressure on the PRC government to adopt a more flexible currency policy, including from the U.S. government, which has threatened to label China as a “currency manipulator,” which could result in greater fluctuation of the CNY against the U.S. dollar. However, the PRC government may still at its discretion restrict access to foreign currencies for capital account or current account transactions in the future. Therefore, it is difficult to predict how market forces or government policies may impact the exchange rate between the CNY and the U.S. dollar or other currencies in the future. In addition, the PBOC regularly intervenes in the foreign exchange market to limit fluctuations in CNY exchange rates and achieve policy goals. If the exchange rate between the CNY and U.S. dollar fluctuates in an unanticipated manner, our results of operations and financial condition, and the value of, and dividends payable on, our shares in foreign currency terms may be adversely affected.
Changes in the laws and regulations of China or noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations may have a significant impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
FF’s operations in China are subject to the laws and regulations of China, which continue to evolve. For example, on January 9, 2021, China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) issued the Rules on Blocking Improper Extraterritorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures (the “Blocking Rules”), which established a blocking regime in China to counter the impact of foreign sanctions on Chinese persons. The Blocking Rules have become effective upon issuance, but have only established a framework of implementation, and the rules’ effects will remain unclear until the Chinese government provides clarity on the specific types of extraterritorial measures to which the rules will apply. At this time, we do not know the extent to which the Blocking Rules will impact the operations of our PRC Subsidiaries. There is no assurance that our PRC Subsidiaries will be able to comply fully with applicable laws and regulations should there be any amendment to the existing regulatory regime or implementation of any new laws and regulations. In addition, the interpretations of many laws and regulations are not always uniform and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve uncertainties.
The continuance of our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations depends upon compliance with, among other things, applicable Chinese environmental, health, safety, labor, social security, pension and other laws and regulations. Failure to comply with such laws and regulations could result in fines, penalties or lawsuits.
Furthermore, our business and operations in China entail the procurement of licenses and permits from the relevant authorities. Rapidly evolving laws and regulations and inconsistent interpretations and enforcements thereof could impede our PRC Subsidiaries’ ability to obtain or maintain the required permits, licenses and certificates required to conduct our businesses in China. Difficulties or failure in obtaining the required permits, licenses and certificates could result in our PRC Subsidiaries’ inability to continue our business in China in a manner consistent with past practice. In such an event, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
FF is a holding company and, in the future, may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by the PRC Subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements that FF may have, and the restrictions on PRC Subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends or make other payments to FF could restrict its ability to satisfy its liquidity requirements and have a material adverse effect on FF’s ability to conduct its business.
FF is a holding company and conducts all of its business through its operating subsidiaries. FF may need to rely on dividends and other distributions paid by its operating subsidiaries, including the PRC Subsidiaries, to fund any cash and financing requirements FF may have. Any limitation on the ability of the PRC Subsidiaries to make payments to FF, including but not limited to foreign currencies control, could have a material and adverse effect on FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation, including FF’s ability to conduct business, or limit FF’s ability to grow. Current PRC regulations permit the PRC Subsidiaries to pay dividends to FF only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, the PRC Subsidiaries are required to set aside at least 10% of their accumulated profits each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds until the total amount set aside reaches 50% of their registered capital. The PRC Subsidiaries may also allocate a portion of their after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to employee welfare and bonus funds at their discretion. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends.
Furthermore, if the PRC Subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other payments to FF. Any limitation on the ability of the PRC Subsidiaries to distribute dividends or to make payments to FF may restrict its ability to satisfy its liquidity requirements.
In addition, the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law (the “EIT Law”), and its implementation rules provide that a withholding tax rate of up to 10% will be applicable to dividends payable by Chinese companies to non-PRC-resident enterprises unless otherwise exempted or reduced according to treaties or arrangements between the PRC central government and governments of other countries or regions where the non-PRC-resident enterprises are incorporated.
The PRC government may continue to strengthen its capital controls, and more restrictions and substantial vetting process may be put forward by SAFE for cross-border transactions falling under both the current account and the capital account. Any limitation on the ability of the PRC Subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other kinds of payments to FF could materially and adversely limit FF’s ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to FF’s business, pay dividends, or otherwise fund and conduct FF’s business.
Under the EIT Law, we may be classified as a PRC “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes. Such classification would likely result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our non-PRC enterprise stockholders and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.
Under the EIT Law, as well as its implementing rules, an enterprise established outside the PRC with “de facto management bodies” within the PRC is considered a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes and is generally subject to a uniform 25% enterprise income tax rate on its worldwide income. Under the implementation rules to the EIT Law, a “de facto management body” is defined as a body that has material and overall management and control over the manufacturing and business operations, personnel and human resources, finances and properties of an enterprise. In addition, a circular, known as SAT Circular 82, issued in April 2009 by the State Administration of Taxation of the PRC (the “SAT”), specifies that certain offshore incorporated enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups will be classified as PRC resident enterprises if the following are located or resident in the PRC: senior management personnel and departments that are responsible for daily production, operation and management; financial and personnel decision making bodies; key properties, accounting books, company seal, and minutes of board meetings and shareholders’ meetings; and half or more of the senior management or directors having voting rights. Further to SAT Circular 82, the SAT issued a bulletin, known as SAT Bulletin 45, which took effect in September 2011, to provide more guidance on the implementation of SAT Circular 82 and clarify the reporting and filing obligations of such “Chinese-controlled offshore incorporated resident enterprises.” SAT Bulletin 45 provides procedures and administrative details for the determination of resident status and administration on post-determination matters. Although both SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 only apply to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups, not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreign individuals, the determining criteria set forth in SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 may reflect the SAT’s general position on how the “de facto management body” test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises, PRC enterprise groups or by PRC or foreign individuals.
We do not believe that we, as a holding company incorporated in Delaware, meet all of the conditions above, and thus we do not believe that we are a PRC resident enterprise. However, if the PRC tax authorities determine that we are a PRC resident enterprise for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, a number of unfavorable PRC tax consequences could follow. First, we will be subject to the uniform 25% enterprise income tax on our world-wide income, which could materially reduce our net income. In addition, we will also be subject to PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. However, the tax resident status of an enterprise is subject to determination by the PRC tax authorities and uncertainties remain with respect to the interpretation of the term “de facto management body.”
Finally, since there remains uncertainties regarding the interpretation and implementation of the EIT Law and its implementation rules, it is uncertain whether, if we are regarded as a PRC resident enterprise, any dividends payable by us to our investors and gains on the sale of our Common Stock would become subject to PRC withholding tax, at a rate of 10% in the case of non-PRC enterprises (subject to the provisions of any applicable tax treaty). It is unclear whether our non-PRC enterprise stockholders would be able to claim the benefits of any tax treaties between their country of tax residence and the PRC in the event that we are treated as a PRC resident enterprise. Any such tax may reduce the returns on your investment in the Common Stock.
FF and our stockholders face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in China resident enterprises through transfer of non-Chinese-holding companies. Enhanced scrutiny by the Chinese tax authorities may have a negative impact on potential acquisitions and dispositions we may pursue in the future.
On February 3, 2015, the SAT issued the Bulletin on Issues of Enterprise Income Tax on Indirect Transfers of Assets by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or Bulletin 7. Pursuant to this Bulletin 7, an “indirect transfer” of assets, including non-publicly traded equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise, by non-PRC resident enterprises may be re-characterized and treated as a direct transfer of PRC taxable assets, if such arrangement does not have a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of avoiding payment of PRC enterprise income tax. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax. According to Bulletin 7, “PRC taxable assets” include assets attributed to an establishment in China, immovable properties located in China, and equity investments in PRC resident enterprises, in respect of which gains from their transfer by a direct holder, being a non-PRC resident enterprise, would be subject to PRC enterprise income taxes. When determining whether there is a “reasonable commercial purpose” of the transaction arrangement, features to be taken into consideration include, without limitation: whether the main value of the equity interest of the relevant offshore enterprise derives directly or indirectly from PRC taxable assets; whether the assets of the relevant offshore enterprise mainly consists of direct or indirect investment in China or if its income mainly derives from China; whether the offshore enterprise and its subsidiaries directly or indirectly holding PRC taxable assets have real commercial nature which is evidenced by their actual function and risk exposure; the duration of existence of the shareholders, business model and organizational structure; the income tax payable abroad on the income from the transaction of indirect transfer of PRC taxable assets; the replicability of the transaction by direct transfer of PRC taxable assets; and the tax situation of such indirect transfer and applicable tax treaties or similar arrangements. In respect of an indirect offshore transfer of assets of a PRC establishment, the resulting gain is to be included with the enterprise income tax filing of the PRC establishment or place of business being transferred, and would consequently be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at a rate of 25%. Where the underlying transfer relates to the immovable properties located in China or to equity investments in a PRC resident enterprise, which is not related to a PRC establishment or place of business of a non-resident enterprise, a PRC enterprise income tax of 10% would apply, subject to available preferential tax treatment under applicable tax treaties or similar arrangements, and the party who is obligated to make the transfer payments has the withholding obligation. Bulletin 7 does not apply to transactions of sale of shares by investors through a public stock exchange where such shares were acquired from a transaction through a public stock exchange. On October 17, 2017, the SAT promulgated the Announcement of the SAT on Issues Concerning the Withholding of Non-resident Enterprise Income Tax at Source, or SAT Circular 37, which became effective on December 1, 2017 and was most recently amended on June 15, 2018. SAT Circular 37, among other things, simplified procedures of withholding and payment of income tax levied on non-resident enterprises.
We face uncertainties as to the reporting and other implications of certain past and future transactions where PRC taxable assets are involved, such as offshore restructuring, sale of the shares in our offshore subsidiaries or investments. Our company may be subject to filing obligations or taxed if our company is transferor in such transactions, and may be subject to withholding obligations if our company is transferee in such transactions under Bulletin 7 and SAT Circular 37. For transfer of shares in our company by investors that are non-PRC resident enterprises, our PRC subsidiaries may be requested to assist in the filing under Bulletin 7 and SAT Circular 37. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with Bulletin 7 and SAT Circular 37 or to request the relevant transferors from whom we purchase taxable assets to comply with these publications, or to establish that our company should not be taxed under these publications, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
PRC regulation of loans to and direct investments in PRC entities by offshore holding companies may delay or prevent us from using the proceeds of the Business Combination to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC Subsidiaries, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.
As an offshore holding company with PRC Subsidiaries, FF may finance the operations of our PRC Subsidiaries by means of loans or capital contributions. As permitted under PRC laws and regulations, in utilizing the proceeds of the Business Combination, we may make loans to our PRC Subsidiaries subject to the approval from governmental authorities and limitation of amount, or we may make additional capital contributions to our PRC Subsidiaries. Furthermore, loans by us to our PRC Subsidiaries to finance its activities cannot exceed the statutory limits, which is either the difference between the registered capital and the total investment amount of such enterprise or a multiple of its net assets in the previous year. In addition, a foreign-invested enterprise (“FIE”), shall use its capital pursuant to the principle of authenticity and self-use within its business scope. The capital of an FIE shall not be used for the following purposes: (i) directly or indirectly used for payment beyond the business scope of the enterprises or the payment prohibited by relevant laws and regulations; (ii) directly or indirectly used for investment in securities or investments other than banks’ principal-secured products unless otherwise provided by relevant laws and regulations; (iii) the granting of loans to non-affiliated enterprises, except where it is expressly permitted in the business license; and (iv) paying the expenses related to the purchase of real estate that is not for self-use (except for the foreign-invested real estate enterprises).
In light of the various requirements imposed by PRC regulations on loans to, and direct investment in, the PRC Subsidiaries by offshore holding companies, and the fact that the PRC government may at its discretion restrict access to
foreign currencies for current account and capital account transactions in the future, we cannot assure you that we will be able to complete the necessary government registrations or obtain the necessary government approvals on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future loans by us to our PRC Subsidiaries or with respect to future capital contributions by us to our PRC Subsidiaries. If we fail to complete such registrations or obtain such approvals, our ability to use the proceeds from the Business Combination and to capitalize or otherwise fund our PRC operations may be negatively affected, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.
The PRC government can take regulatory actions and make statements to regulate business operations in China with little advance notice so, so our assertions and beliefs of the risks imposed by the Chinese legal and regulatory system cannot be certain so our assertions and beliefs of the risks imposed by the Chinese legal and regulatory system cannot be certain.
The Chinese government has taken and continues to take regulatory actions and make statements to regulate business operations in China, sometimes with little advance notice. Our ability to operate and to expand our operations in China in the future may be harmed by changes in its laws and regulations, including those relating to foreign investment, cybersecurity and date protection, foreign currency exchange, taxation, environmental regulations, land use rights, property and other matters. The central or local governments of these jurisdictions may impose new, stricter regulations or interpretations of existing regulations that would require additional expenditures and efforts on our part to ensure our compliance with such regulations or interpretations. Accordingly, government actions in the future, including any decision not to continue to support recent economic reforms and to return to a more centrally planned economy or regional or local variations in the implementation of economic policies, could have a significant effect on economic conditions in China, or particular regions thereof, and could require us to divest ourselves of any interest we then hold in Chinese properties.
As such, our PRC Subsidiaries could be subject to regulation by various political and regulatory entities, including various local and municipal agencies and government sub-divisions. Our PRC Subsidiaries may incur increased costs necessary to comply with existing and newly adopted laws and regulations or penalties for any failure to comply. Our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by existing or future laws and regulations relating to their business or industry. Given that the Chinese government may intervene or influence our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations at any time, it could result in a material change in our PRC Subsidiaries’ operations and a material reduction in the value of our Class A Common Stock and Warrants. Given recent statements by the Chinese government indicating an intent to exert more oversight and control over offerings that are conducted overseas, any such action could significantly limit or completely hinder our and the Selling Securityholders’ ability to offer or continue to offer our shares of Class A Common Stock and Warrants to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless.
Furthermore, it is uncertain when and whether FF will be required to obtain permission from the PRC government to maintain its listing on U.S. exchanges in the future, and even when such permission is obtained, whether it will be denied or rescinded. Although the Company is currently not required to obtain permission from the PRC government to obtain such permission and has not received any denial to list on the U.S. exchange, as the PRC laws and regulations are still evolving rapidly and their interpretation and implementation are subject to uncertainties, our operations could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by existing or future PRC laws and regulations relating to its business or industry.
The approval of, or filing or other administrative procedures with, the China Securities Regulatory Commission or other PRC governmental authorities may be required in connection with certain of our financing activities, and, if required, we cannot predict if we will be able to obtain such approval or complete such filing or other administrative procedures.
The PRC governmental authorities may strengthen oversight over offerings that are conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in overseas-listed China-based issuers from time to time. Such actions taken by the PRC governmental authorities may intervene with our operations at any time, which are beyond our control. For instance, on July 6, 2021, the relevant PRC governmental authorities promulgated the Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down on Illegal Securities Activities, which emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities, the need to strengthen the supervision over overseas listings by PRC-based companies and the need to revise the special provisions of the State Council on overseas issuance and listing of shares by those limited by shares companies. On December 24, 2021, the CSRC published the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments), and Administrative Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments), or collectively, the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations, which set out the new regulatory requirements and filing procedures for Chinese companies seeking direct or indirect listing in overseas markets. The Draft Overseas Listing Regulations, among others, stipulate that Chinese companies that seek to offer and list securities in overseas markets directly or indirectly, including through single or multiple acquisition, share swap, transfer of shares or other means, shall fulfill the filing procedures with and report relevant information to the CSRC, and that an initial filing shall be submitted within three (3) working days after the application for an initial public offering is submitted. Moreover, an overseas offering and listing is prohibited under circumstances if (i) it is prohibited by PRC laws, (ii) it may constitute a threat to or endanger national security as reviewed and determined by competent PRC authorities, (iii) it has material ownership disputes over equity,
major assets, and core technology, (iv) in recent three years, the Chinese operating entities, and their controlling shareholders and actual controllers have committed relevant prescribed criminal offenses or are currently under investigations for suspicion of criminal offenses or major violations, (v) the directors, supervisors, or senior executives have been subject to administrative punishment for severe violations, or are currently under investigations for suspicion of criminal offenses or major violations, or (vi) it has other circumstances as prescribed by the State Council.
The Draft Overseas Listing Regulations, among others, further stipulate that if the issuer meets the following conditions, its offering and listing shall be determined as an “indirect overseas offering and listing by a Chinese company” and is therefore subject to the filing requirement: (1) the revenues, profits, total assets or net assets of the Chinese operating entities in the most recent financial year accounts for more than 50% of the corresponding data in the issuer’s audited consolidated financial statements for the same period; (2) the majority of senior management in charge of business operation are Chinese citizens or have domicile in PRC, and its principal place of business is located in PRC or main business activities are conducted in PRC.
According to the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations, if the Business Combination was determined as an “indirect overseas offering by a Chinese company” and we failed to complete the filing procedures with the CSRC for the Business Combination, or fell within the scope of any of the circumstances that is prohibited by the State Council, we may be subject to penalties, sanctions and fines imposed by the CSRC and relevant departments of the State Council. In severe circumstances, the business of our PRC subsidiaries may be ordered to suspend and their business qualifications and licenses may be revoked.
The Draft Overseas Listing Regulations were released only for soliciting public comments at this stage and their provisions and anticipated adoption or effective date are subject to changes and thus their interpretation and implementation remain substantially uncertain. We cannot predict the impact of the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations on the Business Combination, FF’s listing on U.S. exchanges, and our future securities offering or other forms of financing activities, if any, at this stage, or guarantee that we will be able to satisfy the scrutinized and new regulatory requirements in case they were adopted in the current form. If it is determined in the future that approval of, or filing or other administrative procedures with, the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities are required for the Business Combination or our future financing activities, we cannot assure you we can obtain such approval or complete such filing or other required procedures in a timely manner. Any failure or delay in obtaining or completing such approval, filing or other required procedures, or a rescission of any such approval or filing or other procedures, would subject us to sanctions by the CSRC or other PRC governmental authorities. These PRC governmental authorities may impose fines and/or other penalties on our operations in China, limit our ability to pay dividends outside of China, limit our operating privileges in China, delay or restrict the repatriation of the proceeds from our offshore financing activities into China or take other actions that could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. Any uncertainties or negative publicity arising from these events could also adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.
The M&A Rules and certain other PRC regulations establish complex procedures for some acquisitions of Chinese companies by foreign investors, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions in China.
The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Companies by Foreign Investors adopted by six PRC regulatory agencies, or the M&A Rules, and related regulations and rules concerning mergers and acquisitions established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. For example, the M&A Rules require that MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor takes control of a PRC domestic enterprise, if (i) any important industry is concerned, (ii) such transaction involves factors that have or may have impact on the national economic security, (iii) such transaction will lead to a change in control of a domestic enterprise which holds a famous trademark or PRC time-honored brand, or (iv) or in circumstances where overseas companies established or controlled by PRC enterprises or residents acquire affiliated domestic companies. Moreover, the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law requires that transactions which are deemed concentrations and involve parties with specified turnover thresholds must be cleared by the relevant anti-monopoly authority before they can be completed.
In addition, in 2011, the General Office of the State Council promulgated a Notice on Establishing the Security Review System for Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, which officially established a security review system for mergers and acquisitions of domestic enterprises by foreign investors. Also, the Rules on Implementation of Security Review System for the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, issued by the MOFCOM and effective in September 2011 specify that mergers and acquisitions by foreign investors that raise “national defense and security” concerns and mergers and acquisitions through which foreign investors may acquire de facto control over domestic enterprises that raise “national security” concerns are subject to strict review by the MOFCOM, and the Rules prohibit any activities attempting to bypass a security review, including by structuring the transaction through a proxy, re-investment through multiple levels, leases, loans or control through contractual control arrangement or offshore transactions. Furthermore, NDRC and MOFCOM promulgated the Measures for the Security Review of Foreign Investments, effective from
January 18, 2021, which require foreign investors or relevant parties to file a prior report before making a foreign investment if such investment involves military related industry, national defense security or taking control of an enterprise in a key industry that concerns national security; and if a foreign investment will or may affect national security, the standing working office organized by NDRC and MOFCOM will conduct a security review to decide whether to approve such investment.
In the future, we may grow our business in China by acquiring complementary businesses. Complying with the requirements of the above-mentioned regulations and other relevant rules to complete such transactions, if required, could be time consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval or clearance from the MOFCOM or its local counterparts and other relevant PRC authorities, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions. It is unclear whether our business would be deemed to be in an industry that raises “national defense and security” or “national security” concerns. However, the MOFCOM or other government agencies may publish explanations in the future determining that our business is in an industry subject to the security review, in which case our future acquisitions in the PRC, including those by way of entering into contractual control arrangements with target entities, may be closely scrutinized or prohibited. Our ability to expand our business or maintain or expand our market share in China through future acquisitions would as such be materially and adversely affected.
FF may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in PRC regulations on internet-related business, automotive businesses and other business carried out by FF’s PRC Subsidiaries.
The Chinese government extensively regulates the internet and automotive industries and other business carried out by the PRC Subsidiaries, such laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving, and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. As a result, in certain circumstances it may be difficult to determine what actions or omissions may be deemed to be in violation of applicable laws and regulations.
Several PRC regulatory authorities, such as the State Administration for Market Regulation, the National Development and Reform Commission, MOFCOM, the MIIT, oversee different aspects of the electric vehicle business, and FF’s PRC Subsidiaries will be required to obtain a wide range of government approvals, licenses, permits and registrations in connection with their operations in China. For example, according to the Administrative Rules on the Admission of New Energy Vehicle Manufacturers and Products, promulgated by the MIIT on January 6, 2017 and amended on July 24, 2020, the MIIT is responsible for the national-wide administration of new energy vehicles and their manufacturers. The manufacturers shall apply to the MIIT for the entry approval to become a qualified manufacturer in China and shall further apply to the MIIT for the entry approval for the new energy passenger vehicles before commencing the manufacturing and sale of the new energy passenger vehicles in China. Both of the new energy passenger vehicles and their manufacturers will be listed in the Announcement of the Vehicle Manufacturers and Products issued by the MIIT from time to time, if they have obtained the entry approval from the MIIT. According to the Management Measures for Automobile Sales promulgated by the MOFCOM in July 2017, corporate basic information filings must be made by automobile dealers through the information system for the national automobile circulation operated by the MOFCOM within 90 days after the receipt of a business license. Furthermore, the electric vehicle industry is relatively immature in China, and the government has not adopted a clear regulatory framework to regulate the industry.
There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of the existing PRC laws, regulations and policies and possible new laws, regulations or policies relating to internet-related businesses as well as automotive businesses and companies. There is no assurance that FF will be able to obtain all the permits or licenses related to its business in China, or will be able to maintain its existing licenses or obtain new ones. In the event that the PRC government considers that FF was or is operating without the proper approvals, licenses or permits, promulgates new laws and regulations that require additional approvals or licenses, or imposes additional restrictions on the operation of any part of FF’s business, the PRC government has the power, among other things, to levy fines, confiscate FF’s income, revoke its business licenses, and require FF to discontinue the relevant business or impose restrictions on the affected portion of its business. Any of these actions by the PRC government may have a material adverse effect on FF’s business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
We face challenges from the evolving regulatory environment regarding cybersecurity, information security, privacy and data protection. Many of these laws and regulations are subject to change and uncertain interpretation, and any actual or alleged failure to comply with related laws and regulations regarding cybersecurity, information security, data privacy and protection could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In the regular course of our business, we obtain information about various aspects of our operations as well as regarding our employees and third parties. The integrity and protection of FF, employee and third-party data are critical to our business. Our employees and third parties expect that we will adequately protect their personal information. We are required by applicable laws to keep strictly confidential the personal information that we collect, and to take adequate security measures to safeguard such information.
PRC regulators, including the Cyberspace Administration of China, the MIIT, and the Ministry of Public Security, have been increasingly focused on regulation in data security and data protection. PRC regulatory requirements regarding cybersecurity are evolving. For instance, various regulatory bodies in China have enforced data privacy and protection laws and regulations with varying and evolving standards and interpretations.
The PRC Criminal Law, as most recently amended in 2020, prohibits institutions, companies and their employees from selling or otherwise illegally disclosing a citizen’s personal information obtained in performing duties or providing services or obtaining such information through theft or other illegal ways. On November 7, 2016, the Standing Committee of the PRC National People’s Congress issued the Cyber Security Law of the PRC (the “Cyber Security Law”), which became effective on June 1, 2017.
Pursuant to the Cyber Security Law, network operators must not, without users’ consent, collect and disclose their personal information, and may only collect users’ personal information necessary to provide their services. Providers are also obliged to provide security maintenance for their products and services and shall comply with provisions regarding the protection of personal information as stipulated under the relevant laws and regulations.
The Civil Code of the PRC provides legal basis for privacy and personal information infringement claims under the Chinese civil laws.
On June 10, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China (the “SCNPC”), promulgated the PRC Data Security Law, which took effect on September 1, 2021. The PRC Data Security Law imposes data security and privacy obligations on entities and individuals carrying out data activities, and introduces a data classification and hierarchical protection system based on the importance of data in economic and social development, and the degree of harm it will cause to national security, public interests, or legitimate rights and interests of individuals or organizations when such data is tampered with, destroyed, leaked, illegally acquired or used. The PRC Data Security Law also provides for a national security review procedure for data activities that may affect national security and imposes export restrictions on certain data and information.
On August 20, 2021, the SCNPC promulgated the PRC Personal Information Protection Law, which took effect on November 1, 2021. This legislation marks China’s first comprehensive legal attempt to define personal information and regulate the storing, transferring, and processing of personal information. It restricts the cross-border transfer of personal information and has major implications for companies that rely on data for their operations in China.
In December 2021, the Cyberspace Administration of China and 12 other related authorities promulgated the Cybersecurity Review Measures, which became effective on February 15, 2022. The Cybersecurity Review Measures stipulates that:
the CSRC is included as one of the regulatory authorities for purposes of jointly establishing the state cybersecurity review working mechanism;
the purchase of network products and services by a “critical information infrastructure operator” and the data processing activities of a “network platform operator” that affect or may affect national security shall be subject to the cybersecurity review
if a network platform operator who possesses or controls personal information of more than one million users intends to go public in a foreign country, it must apply for a cybersecurity review with the Cyberspace Administration of China; and
the relevant PRC governmental authorities may initiate cybersecurity review if they determine certain network products, services, or data processing activities affect or may affect national security.
Furthermore, on October 29, 2021, the Measures for the Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transmission (Draft for Comment) were proposed by the Cyberspace Administration of China for public comments, which require that any data processor providing important data collected and generated during operations within the PRC or personal information that should be subject to security assessment according to law to an overseas recipient shall conduct security assessment. On November 14, 2021, the Cyberspace Administration of China published a discussion draft of Regulations on the Administration of Cyber Data Security for public comment, which provides that data processors conducting the following activities shall apply for cybersecurity review: (i) merger, reorganization or division of internet platform operators that have acquired a large number of data resources related to national security, economic development or public interests affects or may affect national security; (ii) listing abroad of data processors processing over one million users’ personal information; (iii) listing in Hong Kong which affects or may affect national security; or (iv) other data processing activities that affect or may affect national security. The draft also provides that operators of large internet platforms that set up headquarters, operation centers or R&D centers overseas shall report to the national cyberspace administration and competent authorities. In addition, the draft also requires that data processors processing important data or going public overseas shall conduct an annual data security self-assessment or entrust a data security service institution to do so, and submit the data security assessment report of the previous year to the local branch
of the Cyberspace Administration of China before January 31 each year. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the abovementioned drafts have not been formally adopted, and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to their enactment timetable, final content, interpretation and implementation.
Our PRC Subsidiaries may become subject to enhanced cybersecurity review. Certain internet platforms in China have been reportedly subject to heightened regulatory scrutiny in relation to cybersecurity matters. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we have not been informed by any PRC governmental authority of any requirement that our PRC Subsidiaries file for a cybersecurity review. However, if they are deemed to be a critical information infrastructure operator or a network platform operator that is engaged in data processing that affect or may affect national security, they could be subject to PRC cybersecurity review.
As there remains significant uncertainty in the interpretation and enforcement of relevant PRC laws and regulations relating to cybersecurity, information security, data privacy and protection, our PRC Subsidiaries could become subject to enhanced cybersecurity review or non-compliance investigations launched by PRC regulators in the future. Any failure or delay in the completion of the cybersecurity review procedures or any other non-compliance investigations in accordance with the related laws and regulations may result in fines or other penalties, including suspension of business, website closure, and revocation of prerequisite licenses, as well as reputational damage or legal proceedings or actions to our PRC Subsidiaries, which may have material adverse effects on our business, financial condition or results of operations. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our PRC Subsidiaries have not been involved in any investigations on cybersecurity review initiated by the Cyber Administration of China or related governmental regulatory authorities, and they have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, or sanction in such respect. However, as uncertainties remain regarding the interpretation and implementation of these laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that our PRC Subsidiaries will comply with such regulations in all respects and they may be ordered to rectify or terminate any actions that are deemed illegal by regulatory authorities.
Any independent registered public accounting firm operating in China that FF uses as an auditor for its operations in China will not be permitted to be subject to inspection by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”), and as such, investors may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.
Our principal auditor, the independent registered public accounting firm that issued the audit report included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as an auditor of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the PCAOB, is subject to laws in the United States pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess our auditor’s compliance with the applicable professional standards. The auditors of FF’s PRC Subsidiaries are not registered with, and are not subject to inspection by, the PCAOB. Any independent registered public accounting firm that FF uses as an auditor for its operations in China will not be permitted to be subject to inspection by PCAOB.
Inspections of other PCAOB-registered firms by the PCAOB outside of China have identified deficiencies in their audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may improve future audit quality. This lack of PCAOB inspections in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating audits and quality control procedures of any auditors operating in China. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections to the extent that certain portions of financial statements are prepared by auditors in China. The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of auditors in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the China-based audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Existing or potential investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information and the quality of our financial statements because the financial statements with respect to FF’s PRC Subsidiaries were subject to audit by auditors not inspected by the PCAOB.
The lack of PCAOB inspections with respect to FF’s operations in China may subject existing and potential investors to additional risks in light of the changing regulatory framework. As part of a continued regulatory focus in the United States on limited access to business books and records and audit work papers caused by the protection of state secrets and national security laws in China, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (“HFCA”) was enacted in December 2020. The major purpose of the HFCA is to avail U.S. regulators of access to review audits for companies in the same manner in which they review those of firms in any other nation. On December 2, 2021, the SEC adopted final amendments implementing the disclosure and submission requirements under the HFCA, pursuant to which the SEC will identify a “Commission-Identified Issuer” if an issuer has filed an annual report containing an audit report issued by a registered public accounting firm that the PCAOB has determined it is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a position taken by an authority in the foreign jurisdiction, and will then impose a trading prohibition on an issuer after it is identified as a Commission-Identified Issuer for three consecutive years. On December 16, 2021, the PCAOB issued a report to notify the SEC its determinations that it is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms headquartered in Mainland China and Hong Kong, respectively, and identifies the registered public accounting firms in Mainland China and Hong Kong that are subject to such determinations. As noted above, our independent registered public accounting firm is subject to inspection by the PCAOB,
thus we do not expect to be identified as a “Commission-Identified Issuer” under the current framework of the HFCA. Such legislation efforts could cause investor uncertainty for both affected foreign issuers and transnational companies with operations in China including FF. Further, new laws and regulations or changes in laws and regulations in both the U.S. and PRC could affect our ability to maintain our listing on NASDAQ, which could materially impair the market for and market price of our Class A Common Stock and Warrants.
U.S. regulatory bodies may be limited in their ability to conduct investigations or inspections of our operations in China.
The SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice and other U.S. authorities may also have difficulties in bringing and enforcing actions against our PRC Subsidiaries or the directors or executive officers of our PRC Subsidiaries. The SEC has stated that there are significant legal and other obstacles to obtaining information needed for investigations or litigation in China. China has recently adopted a revised securities law that became effective on March 1, 2020, Article 177 of which provides, among other things, that no overseas securities regulator is allowed to directly conduct investigation or evidence collection activities within the territory of the PRC. Accordingly, without governmental approval in China, no entity or individual in China may provide documents and information relating to securities business activities to overseas regulators when it is under direct investigation or evidence discovery conducted by overseas regulators, which could present significant legal and other obstacles to obtaining information needed for investigations and litigation conducted outside of China.
There may be difficulties in effecting service of legal process, conducting investigations, collecting evidence, enforcing foreign judgments or bringing original actions in China based on United States or other foreign laws against us and our management.
We currently have operations, and plan to have significant operations and assets in the future, in China. As a result, it may not be possible to effect service of process within the United States or elsewhere outside of China with regard to persons or assets relating to our operations in China, including actions arising under applicable U.S. federal and state securities laws. In addition, there are significant legal and other obstacles in China to providing information needed for regulatory investigations or litigation initiated by regulators outside China. Overseas regulators may have difficulties in conducting investigations or collecting evidence within China. It may also be difficult for investors to bring a lawsuit against us or our directors or executive officers based on U.S. federal securities laws in a Chinese court. Moreover, China does not have treaties with the United States providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts. Therefore, even if a judgment were obtained against us or our management for matters arising under U.S. federal or state securities laws or other applicable U.S. federal or state law, it may be difficult to enforce such a judgment with respect to our operations or assets in China.
Risks Related to Our Common Stock
We do not currently intend to pay dividends on our Class A Common Stock and, consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our Class A Common Stock.
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. has no direct operations and no significant assets other than the ownership of the stock of its subsidiaries. As a result, Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. will depend on its subsidiaries for distributions, loans and other payments to generate the funds necessary to meet our financial obligations, including our expenses as a publicly traded company, and to pay any dividends with respect to our Class A Common Stock. Applicable state law and contractual restrictions, including in agreements governing the current or future indebtedness of FF, as well as the financial condition and operating requirements of FF, may limit our ability to obtain cash from FF subsidiaries. Thus, we do not expect to pay cash dividends on our Class A Common Stock. Any future dividend payments are within the absolute discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, working capital requirements, capital expenditure requirements, financial condition, level of indebtedness, contractual restrictions with respect to payment of dividends, business opportunities, anticipated cash needs, provisions of applicable law and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant.
There can be no assurance that FF will be able to comply with the continued listing standards of NASDAQ.
If NASDAQ delists FF’s shares from trading on its exchange for failure to meet the applicable listing standards, we and our stockholders could face significant material adverse consequences including:
•a limited availability of market quotations for our securities;
•reduced liquidity for our securities;
•a determination that our common stock is a “penny stock” which will require brokers trading in our common stock to adhere to more stringent rules, possibly resulting in a reduced level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for shares of our common stock;
•a limited amount of news and analyst coverage; and
•a decreased ability to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future.
FF may be required to take write-downs or write-offs, or FF may be subject to restructuring, impairment or other charges that could have a significant negative effect on FF’s business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and the trading price of FF’s securities, which could cause you to lose some or all of your investment.
Factors outside of FF’s control may, at any time, arise. As a result of these factors, FF may be forced to later write-down or write-off assets, restructure its operations, or incur impairment or other charges that could result in FF reporting losses. Even though these charges may be non-cash items and therefore not have an immediate impact on FF’s liquidity, the fact that FF reports charges of this nature could contribute to negative market perceptions about FF or its securities. In addition, charges of this nature may cause FF to be unable to obtain future financing on favorable terms or at all.
If the Business Combination’s benefits do not meet the expectations of investors or securities analysts, the market price of FF’s securities may decline.
If the perceived benefits of the Business Combination do not meet the expectations of investors or securities analysts, the market price of FF’s securities (including the Class A Common Stock) may decline.
In addition, fluctuations in the trading price of FF’s securities could contribute to the loss of all or part of your investment. Prior to the Business Combination, there was not a public market for Legacy FF’s ordinary shares. Accordingly, the valuation ascribed to Legacy FF may not be indicative of the price that will prevail in the trading market following the Business Combination. If an active market for FF’s securities develops and continues, the trading price of FF’s securities could be volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond FF’s control.
Any of the factors listed below could have a material adverse effect on your investment in FF’s securities, and FF’s securities may trade at prices significantly below the price paid by you. In such circumstances, the trading price of FF’s securities may not recover and may experience a further decline. Factors affecting the trading price of FF’s securities may include:
•actual or anticipated fluctuations in FF’s financial results or the financial results of companies perceived to be similar to it;
•changes in the market’s expectations about FF’s operating results;
•success of competitors;
•FF’s operating results failing to meet the expectation of securities analysts or investors in a particular period;
•FF’s ability to attract and retain senior management or key operating personnel, and the addition or departure of key personnel;
•changes in financial estimates and recommendations by securities analysts concerning FF or the transportation industry in general;
•operating and share price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to FF;
•FF’s ability to market new and enhanced products and technologies on a timely basis;
•changes in laws and regulations affecting FF’s business;
•FF’s ability to meet compliance requirements;
•commencement of, or involvement in, threatened or actual litigation and government investigations;
•changes in FF’s capital structure, such as future issuances of securities or the incurrence of additional debt;
•the volume of FF’s common stock available for public sale;
•any change in FF’s Board of Directors or management;
•actions taken by FF’s directors, executive officers or significant stockholders such as sales of FF’s common stock, or the perception that such actions could occur;
•potential litigation involving FF, including the SEC investigation;
•the implementation of the Special Committee’s recommendations and the Company’s related follow up actions;
•FF’s ability to regain compliance with the Nasdaq continued listing standards; and
•general economic and political conditions such as recessions, interest rates, fuel prices, international currency fluctuations and acts of war or terrorism.
Broad market and industry factors may materially harm the market price of FF’s securities irrespective of FF’s operating performance. The stock markets in general have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or
disproportionate to the operating performance of the particular companies affected. The trading prices and valuations of these stocks, and of FF’s securities, may not be predictable. A loss of investor confidence in the market for electric vehicle manufacturers’ stocks or the stocks of other companies which investors perceive to be similar to FF could depress FF’s share price regardless of FF’s business, prospects, financial conditions or results of operations. A decline in the market price of FF’s securities also could adversely affect FF’s ability to issue additional securities and FF’s ability to obtain additional financing in the future.
FF’s ability to use net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes may be limited in connection with the Business Combination or other ownership changes.
Legacy FF has net operating loss carryforwards for U.S. federal and state, as well as non-U.S., income tax purposes that are potentially available to offset future taxable income, subject to certain limitations (including the limitations described below). If not utilized, U.S. federal net operating loss carryforward amounts generated prior to January 1, 2018 will begin to expire 20 years after the tax year in which such losses originated. Non-U.S. and state net operating loss carryforward amounts may also be subject to expiration. Realization of these net operating loss carryforwards depends on the future taxable income of FF, and there is a risk that the existing carryforwards of FF could expire unused and be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities, which could materially and adversely affect FF’s operating results.
Under Section 382 of the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in the ownership of its equity by certain stockholders over a three-year period), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and certain other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change income may be limited. The applicable rules generally operate by focusing on changes in ownership among stockholders considered by the rules as owning, directly or indirectly, 5% or more of the stock of a company, as well as changes in ownership arising from new issuances of stock by the Company. Legacy FF may have experienced ownership changes in the past and FF may have experienced an ownership change as a result of the Business Combination. FF may also experience ownership changes in the future as a result of changes in the ownership of its stock, which may be outside our control. Accordingly, FF’s ability to utilize its net operating loss carryforwards could be limited by such ownership changes, which could result in increased tax liability to FF, potentially decreasing the value of its stock.
There are additional limitations found under Sections 269, 383, and 384 of the Code that may also limit the use of net operating loss carryforwards that may apply and result in increased tax liability to FF, potentially decreasing the value of FF’s stock. In addition, a “Separate Return Limitation Year”, or SRLY, generally encompasses all separate return years of a U.S. federal consolidated group member (or predecessor in a Section 381 or other transaction), including tax years in which it joins a consolidated return of another group. According to Treasury Regulation Section 1.1502-21, net operating losses of a member that arise in a SRLY may be applied against consolidated taxable income only to the extent of the loss member’s cumulative contribution to the consolidated taxable income. As a result, this SRLY limitation may also increase FF’s tax liability (by reducing the carryforward of certain net operating losses that otherwise might be used to offset the amount of taxable gain), potentially decreasing the value of FF’s stock.
As a result of the Business Combination, FF’s tax obligations and related filings may have become significantly more complex and subject to greater risk of audit or examination by taxing authorities, and outcomes resulting from such audits or examinations could adversely impact our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations, including our after-tax profitability and financial results.
FF’s operations are subject to significant income, withholding and other tax obligations in the United States and may become subject to taxes in numerous additional state, local and non-U.S. jurisdictions with respect to our income, operations and subsidiaries related to those jurisdictions. In addition, FF now has international supplier and customer relationships and may expand operations to multiple jurisdictions, including jurisdictions in which the tax laws, their interpretation or their administration may not be favorable. Additionally, future changes in tax law or regulations in any jurisdiction in which FF operates or will operate could result in changes to the taxation of FF’s income and operations, which could cause our after-tax profitability to be lower than anticipated.
FF’s potential future after-tax profitability could be subject to volatility or affected by numerous factors, including (a) the availability of tax deductions, credits, exemptions, refunds (including refunds of value added taxes) and other benefits to reduce FF’s tax liabilities, (b) changes in the valuation of FF’s deferred tax assets and liabilities, (c) expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowances, (d) tax treatment of stock-based compensation, (e) changes in the relative amount of our earnings subject to tax in the various jurisdictions in which FF operates or has subsidiaries, (f) the potential expansion of FF’s business into or otherwise becoming subject to tax in additional jurisdictions, (g) changes to FF’s existing intercompany structure (and any costs related thereto) and business operations, (h) the extent of FF’s intercompany transactions and the extent to which taxing authorities in the relevant jurisdictions respect those intercompany transactions and (i) FF’s ability to structure
its operations in an efficient and competitive manner. Due to the complexity of multinational tax obligations and filings, FF may have a heightened risk related to audits or examinations by U.S. federal, state, local and non-U.S. taxing authorities. Outcomes from these audits or examinations could have an adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations, including our after-tax profitability and financial condition.
FF’s potential future after-tax profitability may also be adversely impacted by changes in the relevant tax laws and tax rates, treaties, regulations, administrative practices and principles, judicial decisions and interpretations thereof, in each case, possibly with retroactive effect. Additionally, the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS recently entered into force among the jurisdictions that have ratified it, although the United States has not yet entered into this convention. These recent changes could negatively impact FF’s taxation, especially if FF expands its relationships and operations internationally.
FF’s failure to timely and effectively implement controls and procedures required by Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could have a material adverse effect on its business.
The standards required for a public company under Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are significantly more stringent than those required of Legacy FF as a privately-held company. Management may not be able to effectively and timely implement controls and procedures that adequately respond to the increased regulatory compliance and reporting requirements that are now applicable after the consummation of the Business Combination. As described in “Risk Factors — FF identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting. If FF is unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if it identifies additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fails to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, it may not be able to accurately or timely report its financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect FF’s business and share price,” management has identified material weaknesses in the Company's internal control over financial re